An exploration of Hindu attitudes to, and mythologies of, women, animals, people of low caste, members of various religious groups, homosexuals, foreigners, criminals, and in general violators of the codes of dharma.
The course is designed around the new Norton Anthology of Hinduism, supplemented by a history of the Hindus. The readings will focus closely on a few texts, some Sanskrit and some from vernacular literatures, from several different historical periods. It will situate each major idea in the context of the historical events to which it responded: the Rig Veda in the Indo-European migrations, the Upanishads in the social crisis of the first great cities on the Ganges, and so forth, up to the present day BJP revisionist tactics. And it will emphasize the alternative traditions of women and the lower classes.
Reading list: Wendy Doniger, The Norton Anthology of Hinduism. Norton, 2014. Doniger, The Hindus: An Alternative History. Penguin, 2009
PQ: Open to undergraduate and graduate students. 15-20 page paper at the end of the course.
Ident. SALC 38304/SCTH 32202/RLST 23904