Martha Ann Selby is an associate professor of South Asian studies in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, where she teaches courses on Indian literature, Hindu and Buddhist religions, history of Indian medicine, and gender formations in the classical and modern periods.
During her fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute, Selby plans to complete an annotated translation of a fourth-century anthology of Tamil love poetry titled Five Hundred Short Poems. She also plans to write a lengthy introduction to the text that will include sections on poetic convention and authorial style.
Selby received a PhD in Tamil and Sanskrit literature from the University of Chicago in 1994, and since then she has taught at Chicago, Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and Columbia University. She joined the University of Texas faculty in 1999. She has held grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the American Institute of Indian Studies. She has also been awarded a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for the 2005–2006 academic year. She is the author of Grow Long, Blessed Night: Love Poems from Classical India (Oxford University Press, 2000) and The Circle of Six Seasons: A Selection from Old Tamil, Prakrit, and Sanskrit Poetry (Penguin Classics, 2003). She is currently completing a book titled “Sanskrit Gynecologies: The Semiotics of Gender and Femininity in Sanskrit Medical Texts.”