May 11, 1995
Vol. 14, No. 17

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    Mistaking sexual partners in the dark

    Wendy Doniger presents this year's Ryerson Lecture Stories in which people mistake their sexual partners in the dark -- especially when those partners are women or people of other races -- will be the focus of "Myths and Methods in the Dark," presented as this year's Ryerson Lecture by Wendy Doniger, the Mircea Eliade Professor in the Divinity School and one of the world's foremost experts in the history of religions. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will explore the relationship between theory and content, sameness and difference, in myths. The lecture will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 18, in Max Palevsky Cinema.

    An expert on Hindu mythology and a Sanskrit scholar, Doniger specializes in the culture of South Asia. Her teaching and research address themes from a cross-cultural perspective, ranging from ancient India and Greece to the American cinema.

    The author or editor of more than 20 books, Doniger is editor of the English-language version of Yves Bonnefoy's Mythologies, a comprehensive encyclopedia of world mythologies. To produce this text -- considered to be the definitive resource for scholars of mythology -- she spent 10 years guiding a dozen graduate students and professional translators through 2,000 pages of 395 original essays by 100 French scholars.

    Doniger received her B.A. in 1962 from Radcliffe, her Ph.D. in Sanskrit and Indian studies in 1968 from Harvard, and her D.Phil. in Oriental studies in 1973 from Oxford. She was an associate professor of history and phenomenology of religions at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., from 1977 to 1978, when she joined the Chicago faculty as Professor in the Divinity School. She was named the Mircea Eliade Professor in 1986.

    The Nora and Edward Ryerson Lecture was established in 1972 by the Board of Trustees to give distinguished members of the faculty an opportunity to speak to the University community about their life and work. The Ryerson Lecturer is nominated by a faculty committee appointed by the president.