Wendy Doniger on Sex and Jewelry (Glencoe Public Library Virtual Event)

We are so happy to share information on this Glencoe Public Library virtual program!

Why are intimacy and bling, particularly rings, so often connected? Why do rings appear time and again in stories about marriage and adultery, love and betrayal, loss and recovery, identity and masquerade? This talk is presented by Wendy Doniger, the Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago and the author of over 40 books, including The Ring of Truth and Other Myths of Sex and Jewelry.

REGISTER HERE for this free Zoom program. A recording of the program will be made and placed on the library's YouTube channel a few days after the event.

This title is from Oxford University Press. We won't have it here in the store but will be happy to order you a copy!

More About the Book: Why are sex and jewelry, particularly rings, so often connected? Why do rings continually appear in stories about marriage and adultery, love and betrayal, loss and recovery, identity and masquerade? What is the mythology that makes finger rings symbols of true (or, as the case may be, untrue) love?

The cross-cultural distribution of the mythology of sexual rings is impressive--from ancient India and Greece through the Arab world to Shakespeare, Marie Antoinette, Wagner, nineteenth-century novels, Hollywood, and the De Beers advertising campaign that gave us the expression, "A Diamond is Forever." Each chapter of The Ring of Truth, like a charm on a charm bracelet, considers a different constellation of stories: stories about rings lost and found in fish; forgetful husbands and clever wives; treacherous royal necklaces; fake jewelry and real women; modern women's revolt against the hegemony of jewelry; and the clash between common sense and conventional narratives about rings. Herein lie signet rings, betrothal rings, and magic rings of invisibility or memory. The stories are linked by a common set of meanings, such as love symbolized by the circular and unbroken shape of the ring: infinite, constant, eternal--a meaning that the stories often prove tragically false.

While most of the rings in the stories originally belonged to men, or were given to women by men, Wendy Doniger shows that it is the women who are important in these stories, as they are the ones who put the jewelry to work in the plots.

More About the Author: Wendy Doniger’s research and teaching interests revolve around two basic areas, Hinduism and mythology. Her courses in mythology at the University of Chicago 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.

She's published over 40 books, including Siva: The Erotic Ascetic; The Origins of Evil in Hindu Mythology; Women, Androgynes, and Other Mythical Beasts; Dreams, Illusion, and Other Realities; Tales of Sex and Violence: Folklore, Sacrifice, and Danger in the Jaiminiya Brahmana; Other Peoples’ Myths: The Cave of Echoes; Splitting the Difference: Gender and Myth in Ancient Greece and India; The Bedtrick: Tales of Sex and Masquerade; The Implied Spider: Politics and Theology in Myth; The Woman Who Pretended To Be Who She Was; The Hindus: An Alternative History;On Hinduism; Redeeming the Kamasutra; The Ring of Truth, and Other Myths of Sex and Jewelry; and Against Dharma:  Dissent in the Ancient Indian Sciences of Sex and Politics (the 2014 Terry Lectures at Yale).

Event date: 

Tuesday, October 4, 2022 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Event address: 

Online Zoom webinar!
The Ring of Truth: And Other Myths of Sex and Jewelry By Wendy Doniger Cover Image
$38.95
ISBN: 9780190267117
Availability: Not on hand, usually available within 1-5 Days
Published: Oxford University Press, USA - May 1st, 2017

Why are sex and jewelry, particularly rings, so often connected? Why do rings continually appear in stories about marriage and adultery, love and betrayal, loss and recovery, identity and masquerade? What is the mythology that makes finger rings symbols of true (or, as the case may be, untrue)
love?