Wendy Doniger

Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions; also in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations, the Committee on Social Thought, and the College




MA, PhD (Harvard University)
DPhil (Oxford University)

Wendy Doniger’s research and teaching interests revolve around two basic areas, Hinduism and mythology.   Her courses in mythology address themes in cross-cultural expanses, such as death, dreams, evil, horses, sex, and women; her courses in Hinduism cover a broad spectrum that, in addition to mythology, considers literature, law, gender, and zoology.

Among almost forty books published under the names of Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty and Wendy Doniger are seventeen interpretive works, including Siva: The Erotic AsceticThe Origins of Evil in Hindu MythologyWomen, Androgynes, and Other Mythical BeastsDreams, Illusion, and Other RealitiesTales of Sex and Violence: Folkore, Sacrifice, and Danger in the Jaiminiya BrahmanaOther Peoples' Myths: The Cave of Echoes; Splitting the Difference: Gender and Myth in Ancient Greece and India;The Bedtrick: Tales of Sex and MasqueradeThe Implied Spider: Politics and Theology in Myth; The Woman Who Pretended To Be Who She WasThe Hindus: An Alternative History; and On Hinduism.

Among her translations are three Penguin Classics––Hindu Myths: A Sourcebook, Translated from the SanskritThe Rig Veda: An Anthology, 108 Hymns Translated from the Sanskrit; and The Laws of Manu (with Brian K. Smith)—a new translation of the Kamasutra (with Sudhir Kakar), andHinduism, for the Norton Anthology of World Religions.  In progress are The Ring of Truth, and Other Myths of Sex and JewelrySkepticism in the Shastras, or The Manipulation of Religion for Politics and Pleasure in Ancient India (the 2014 Terry Lectures at Yale); and a novel, Horses for Lovers, Dogs for Husbands.