Dr. Robert Menzies

Religion and Culture

Robert  Menzies Title: Contract Instructor


Dr. Robert Menzies earned his PhD in 2004 from The University of Iowa’s School of Religious Studies. He taught at the University of Winnipeg as he was writing his dissertation between 1999 and 2004. His first full-time position was as Visiting Assistant Professor at Albion College in Albion, Michigan. He followed that with a one-year Limited-Term Appointment in Hinduism at Concordia University in Montreal. He chose to return to Winnipeg in 2007 and has happily been Contract Faculty ever since. Having been interested in Asia and mythology since a child, it seemed natural to Dr. Menzies that he examine Hindu mythology professionally. In graduate school he came across the stories which are told within Hindu women’s domestic rituals and he has been studying these fascinating short stories ever since. He has published several articles and book chapters on these stories and continues to examine them as they are used by Hindu women in North America. He has lived and traveled in north India. He lives in Winnipeg, but spends as much time motorcycling rural Manitoba roads as the weather will permit.

Teaching Areas:

Asian Religions; Religions of India; Buddhist Traditions; Women in Asian Religions; Hindu Religious Textual Traditions; South Asians in the Diaspora.

  • The Religious Imagination and the Human Condition (REL-1007)
  • Health, Healing and Spirituality (REL-2513)
  • Ecology and Religion (REL-2515)
  • Religions of India (REL-2703)
  • Buddhist Traditions in India and Southeast Asia (REL-2704)
  • Women in Asian Religions (REL-2709)
  • Buddhist Traditions in East Asia (REL-2718)
  • The Philosophy of Yoga (REL-2942)

Research Interests:

Hindu Folk Traditions; Hindu Women’s Domestic Rituals; South Asian Diaspora.


“The Celluloid Temple: Viewing the Televised Ramayan as a Hindu Ritual Act.” In David Gay and Stephen R. Reimer, eds. Locating the Past/Discovering the Present. 175-193. Edmonton: The University of Alberta Press, 2010. 

“Forest Paradigms in Vrat Kathas.” Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, volume 4, issue 2, June 2010. 

“Ritual Precision in Vrat Kathas.” In Reeta Chowdhari Tremblay, ed. Asia: Local and Global Perspectives: Selected articles from the Conference of the Canadian Association of South Asian Studies, 2006. Montreal: Canadian South Asian Society, 2008, 171-183. 

“Of Myth and Mantra: The Slippery Taxonomy of Printed and Oral Vrat Kathas.” Studies in Religion, Volume 36 Number 1 (2007), 3-21. 

“Lucky You; Lucky Me: Revival based on women’s ritual power in vrat kathas,” in Chakra- tidskrift föör indiska religioner (tema: medicin och terapi), 58-69. Fööreningen Chakra, Lund, 2004.