As seen in Compass:
Gawande Lecture Series explores women and law in ancient India
Oct 28, 2015
By McKenzie Powell
O hio University’s biannual Gawande Lecture Series presents, “Adulterous Woman to Be Eaten by Dogs: Women and Law in Ancient India,” by Stephanie Jamison on Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in OHIO’s Ellis Hall 214. Jamison is a professor in the Department of Asian Languages & Cultures at University of California, Los Angeles.
“I selected Stephanie Jamison because she has impressively just completed – with Joel Brereton – the first scholarly English translation of all 1,028 hymns of the Rigveda, India’s oldest religious text,” said Brian Collins, the Drs. Ram and Sushila Gawande Chair in Indian Religion and Philosophy and creator of the Gawande Lecture Series.
Jamison’s lecture will draw on the many inferences on women and law in ancient India from specific sources.
Jamison was trained in Indo-European and historical linguistics, earning a PhD from Yale University in 1977. She has continued to focus her career on Indo-European languages, including Sanskrit, Middle Indo-Aryan and Avestan, and analyzes various literatures in these languages that focus on topics like gender, mythology, religion, law and poetics.
Jamison has “made a name for herself as someone who reads ancient texts with an eye to issues of law and gender,” Collins said.
Because of Jamison’s large focus on gender studies, both the Center for Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and the Center for Law and Culture are cosponsoring this semester’s Gawande Lecture Series.
“Jamison is one of the top scholars of her field, and her talk will demonstrate the value of the humanities for thinking about contemporary issues,” Collins said. “If you don’t think that reading ancient texts can tell us something vitally important about our modern world and its problems, then come to this talk and be proven wrong.”
The Gawande Lecture Series was established in 2013, following the creation of the Drs. Ram and Sushila Gawande Chair in Indian Religion and Philosophy in 2012. The position was created in honor of Ram Gawande, and is supported by the couple’s non-profit charity, the Student & Education Support Association Inc.
After accepting the Drs. Ram and Sushila Gawande Chair position in 2013, Collins launched the Gawande Lecture Series to bring internationally renowned scholars of Indian religions to OHIO to present their work.