Department of Asian Studies
Department of Asian Studies

Martha Selby


Ph.D., University of Chicago

Professor
Martha Selby

Contact

  • Phone: 512-475-6040
  • Office: WCH 4.134A
  • Office Hours: Spring 2016: Wednesday 2-5pm or by appointment
  • Campus Mail Code: G9300

Interests


Representations of women, birth, and disease in classical Indian medicine. Sanskrit poetry and poetics, Prakrit and Old Tamil poetry, and Sanskrit medical literature.

Biography


Courses taught:
Undergraduate: Gender/Sex/Family in Indian Religion/Culture; Goddesses in World Religions and Cultures; Senior Seminar: Death in Asia;
Advanced Sanskrit Readings and Composition; Senior Seminar: Death, Dying, and the Afterlife in South and East Asia

Graduate: A Critical Approach to the Study of South Asian Texts; Classical Indian Literature in Translation; Translating Indian Texts:History and Method; Advanced Sanskrit Readings and Composition; Translating India

 

Courses


ANS 340 • Goddesses World Relig/Cul

30777 • Spring 2016
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM BUR 216
(also listed as ANT 324L, R S 373, WGS 340)

This course will provide a historical and cross-cultural overview of the relationship between feminine and religious cultural expressions through comparative examinations and analyses of various goddess figures in world religions.  We will begin our study in Asia; specifically in India, where goddess worship is a vital part of contemporary Hinduism in all parts of the subcontinent.  From the goddesses of the Hindu tradition (K?l? and Laks?m?, for example), we will move on to female figures in the Buddhist Mah?y?na pantheon (such as Kuan-Yin, popular in China, Korea, and Japan), and then on to some of the goddesses of western antiquity (Inanna, Isis, Athena, Aphrodite, and Mary in her aspects as mother and intercessor).  We will end the course with a study of contemporary goddess worship in the United States as an important expression of Neo-Paganism.  Issues relating to gender, sexuality, power, and violence (domestic and political) will be emphasized as themes throughout the course.

ANS 384 • Body In Indian Medicine/Myth

32015 • Fall 2014
Meets T 2:00PM-5:00PM PAR 214

Study of various aspects and periods of South Asian culture and society.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Prerequisite: Graduate standing; additional prerequisites vary with the topic and are given in the Course Schedule.

SAN 384S • Adv Readings In Sanskrit

32835 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM CBA 4.342

Study of various aspects and periods of Sanskrit language and culture.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Prerequisite: Graduate standing; and Sanskrit 325L, 330, or the equivalent, or consent of instructor.

ANS 388M • Translating India

31820 • Spring 2013
Meets W 2:00PM-5:00PM UTC 1.136

TRANSLATING INDIA: HISTORY/THEORY/CRAFT

Professor Martha Ann Selby

ANS 388/C L 380M

Course Description

 

This graduate-level seminar will introduce students to the craft of literary translation through a wide variety of approaches.  Over the course of the semester, we will read various tracts, articles, and books on the theory and craft of translation from a wide range of Euro-American and South Asian stances and viewpoints.  We will analyze editions of various classics from India that have been translated into English repeatedly, paying particular attention to the political nature of the act and art of translation in its colonial and post-colonial contexts.  This seminar will also have a practical component, and one hour of our meeting period each week will allow students to present translations-in-progress to their peers for comment and critique.

Prerequisites:  Graduate standing required.  Students must have a good working knowledge of at least one South Asian language, classical and/or modern.

Texts and readings:

 Bassnett, Susan and Harish Trivedi, eds.  Post-Colonial Translation: Theory and Practice

 Eco, Umberto.  Experiences in Translation

 Niranjana, Tejaswini.  Siting Translation: History, Post-Structuralism, and the Colonial Context

 Ramanujan, A. K. Speaking of Shiva

 Steiner, George.  After Babel: Aspects of Language and Translation

 Course Packet (available at Paradigm)

 Grading/requirements:

 Class participation: 25%

 1 research paper (10-15 pages) on the translation history of the South Asian text of your choice, due mid-semester: 25%

 Final translation project (length may vary), comprising a translation of a section of text, a work of short fiction, or a group of poems, including a practical introductory essay on translation theory and technique: 50%

ANS 384 • Body In Indian Medicine & Myth

31615 • Fall 2011
Meets M 2:00PM-5:00PM UTC 1.142
(also listed as R S 394T)

THE BODY IN INDIAN MEDICINE

ANS 384

Professor Martha Ann Selby

 

What does it mean to inhabit a body in India?  This is the primary question that we will attempt to answer during the course of the semester in this seminar (graduate standing is required).  The readings and discussion over the course of the term will parallel the development of the human being from conception, infancy and childhood, adulthood and sexuality, and ending with aging and death.  We will take an interdisciplinary approach, and will examine textual materials from an extensive range of sources and time periods.  Sources will include selections from medical literature from India’s ?yurvedic traditions as well as readings from religious narratives that deal directly with issues of embodiment and provide powerful metaphors for it.  We will also be drawing largely on sociological and anthropological studies of the different forms that embodiment takes, from metaphysical issues on what it means to be “alive” or “dead” and the human body’s connection to land and landscape to careful explorations of the body’s outer surfaces in terms of ritual, ascetic, and strictly sartorial concerns with adornment and fashion.  We will also explore the fascinating interfaces between bodybuilding and nation building in India.

Each week, one student will serve as discussion leader and provide the other seminar participants with an 8 to 10-page “topics paper” in advance.  Two other students will be asked to respond with a formal written commentary of 2 to 3 pages, and discussion will proceed from there.  Formal presentations of research in progress will be held during the final 2 weeks of the semester.

Readings:

1.         Wujastyk, Dominik.  The Roots of Ayurveda.

2.         Langford, Jean.  Fluent Bodies: Ayurvedic Remedies for Postcolonial Imbalance.

3.         Daniel, E. Valentine.  Fluid Signs: Being a Person the Tamil Way.

4.         Kakar, Sudhir.  Shamans, Mystics and Doctors.

5.         Lamb, Sarah.  White Saris and Sweet Mangoes: Aging, Gender, and Body in North India.

6.         Barrett, Ron.  Aghor Medicine: Pollution, Death, and Healing in North India.

7.         Parry, Jonathan.  Death in Banaras.

8.         Arnold, David.  Colonizing the Body.

9.         Readings packet (this will include translations of primary texts and a number of articles and chapters from book-length studies)

Grading/Presentations/Requirements:

1 topics paper (8 to 10 pages in length) plus presentation                       20%

2  reaction papers (2 to 3 pages in length) plus presentation                   30% total (15% each)

Formal oral presentation on research paper in progress              20%

Final research paper (20 to 30 pages in length)                          30%

ANS 340 • Goddesses In World Relig/Cul

30910 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM BUR 224

Please check back for updates.

ANS 372 • Gend/Sex/Fam Indian Rel/Culs-W

30540 • Spring 2009
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM GAR 0.132

May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.  Some topics partially fulfill legislative requirement for American history.  Prerequisite: Varies with the topic and is given in the Course Schedule.

ANS 340 • Goddesses In World Relig/Cul

31280 • Fall 2008
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM JGB 2.102

Please check back for updates.

SAN 330 • Amarusataka & Its Commentators

32130 • Spring 2008
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM WCH 4.118
(also listed as SAN 384S)

Prerequisite: Sanskrit 312L with a grade of at least C.

ANS 384 • Gender/Body S Asian Text/Pract

31722 • Fall 2007
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM PAR 8C

Study of various aspects and periods of South Asian culture and society.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Prerequisite: Graduate standing; additional prerequisites vary with the topic and are given in the Course Schedule.

ANS 384 • Translating India

30700 • Spring 2007
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM PAR 8A

Study of various aspects and periods of South Asian culture and society.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Prerequisite: Graduate standing; additional prerequisites vary with the topic and are given in the Course Schedule.

ANS 340 • Goddesses In World Religs/Culs

31115 • Fall 2006
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PAR 201

Please check back for updates.

ANS 372 • Gend/Sex/Fam Indian Rel/Cul-W

31210 • Fall 2006
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM HRH 3.102A

May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.  Some topics partially fulfill legislative requirement for American history.  Prerequisite: Varies with the topic and is given in the Course Schedule.

ANS 302K • Introduction To India

27495 • Fall 2003
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM GSB 2.126

FLAGS:   GC

ANS 372 • Gend/Sex/Fam In Indian Rel/Cul

27590 • Fall 2003
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM BUR 136

May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.  Some topics partially fulfill legislative requirement for American history.  Prerequisite: Varies with the topic and is given in the Course Schedule.

ANS 302K • Introduction To India

26710 • Spring 2003
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM WAG 420
(also listed as HIS 306N)

FLAGS:   GC

ANS 384 • Body In Indian Medicine & Myth

26935 • Spring 2003
Meets M 5:00PM-8:00PM PAR 302
(also listed as ANS 372)

Study of various aspects and periods of South Asian culture and society.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Prerequisite: Graduate standing; additional prerequisites vary with the topic and are given in the Course Schedule.

ANS 372 • Gend/Sex/Fam Indian Rel/Culs-W

27340 • Fall 2002
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM PAR 210

May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.  Some topics partially fulfill legislative requirement for American history.  Prerequisite: Varies with the topic and is given in the Course Schedule.

ANS 384 • Translating India

27445 • Fall 2002
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM PAR 8B

Study of various aspects and periods of South Asian culture and society.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Prerequisite: Graduate standing; additional prerequisites vary with the topic and are given in the Course Schedule.

ANS 301M • Introduction To Buddhism

27230 • Spring 2001
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM GAR 309
(also listed as HIS 306N)

Please check back for updates.

ANS 384 • Body In Indian Medicine & Myth

27445 • Spring 2001
Meets T 4:00PM-7:00PM BAT 101
(also listed as ANS 372)

Study of various aspects and periods of South Asian culture and society.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Prerequisite: Graduate standing; additional prerequisites vary with the topic and are given in the Course Schedule.

ANS 340 • Hist Of Hindu Relig Traditions

27815 • Fall 2000
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM JES A218A
(also listed as HIS 366N)

Please check back for updates.

ANS 340 • Hist Of Hindu Relig Traditions

26830 • Spring 2000
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM UTC 1.144

Please check back for updates.

ANS 372 • Gend/Sex/Fam Indian Rel/Culs-W

26915 • Spring 2000
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM CBA 4.324

May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.  Some topics partially fulfill legislative requirement for American history.  Prerequisite: Varies with the topic and is given in the Course Schedule.

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