A lecture by Ruth Vanita (University of Montana). Part of a lecture series on Sexuality, Gender, and Religion. Sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies and co-sponsored by the Program in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and the Center for South Asia. Free and open to the public. For more information about the series, please contact Prof. Linda Hess.
Throughout the long history of Hinduism, views and representations of same-sex erotic love have changed as Hindu practice itself changed, in response to internal flux and conflict, as well as assimilating or transforming the influence of other religions and cultures. Modern literature and cinema and real-life individuals and couples today draw on ancient tales of sex-change and female-female union to resist homophobia and Hinduphobia imported during the colonial era.
Ruth Vanitais Professor Liberal Studies at the University of Montanta. She was a founder of Manushi, India’s first nationwide feminist magazine. Her authored and edited books include: Gandhi’s Tiger and Sita’s Smile: Essays on Gender, Sexuality, and Culture; Love’s Rite: Same-Sex Marriage in India and the West; Gender, Sex, and the City: Urdu Rekhti Poetry in India, 1780-1870; Same-Sex Love in India: Readings from Literature and History, with Saleem Kidwai; Queering India: Same-Sex Love and Eroticism. She translated Chocolate and Other Writings on Male Homoeroticism.