The Philosophical Understanding of Gender in the Mahabharata (MT21)

Location: OCHS YouTube Channel
Speaker: Professor Ruth Vanita
Date: November 26, 2021
Time: 3.00-4.00

Rethinking Gender in Hinduism

This series seeks to explore the complexities of the category of ‘gender’ in Hinduism, focusing on expanding past heteronormative conceptions of Hindu deities as shown in scriptures and iconographical contexts. The main goal of the project is to open the academic field of Gender Studies in Hinduism to a greater audience and wider opportunities. The project output is to develop a series that can resonate with, and connect to, other fields of study as well, such as gender studies, critical race theory, decolonial social anthropology, and so on. The project consists of recorded lectures that are made easily available through the OCHS webpage and YouTube.

The Philosophical Understanding of Gender in the Mahabharata

This lecture, based on Ruth Vanita’s forthcoming book, The Dharma of Justice in the Sanskrit Epics: Debates on Gender, Varna and Species, analyses debates between sages on gender as a category. The debates address the question of gender’s relationship to reality in general, and in particular to conception, birth, life and death, and to the construction of personhood.