Welcome to Martha Selby


We are pleased to announce that Professor Martha Selby, from South Asian Studies, has joined the Comparative Literature faculty.

Prof. Martha Selby occupies the Sangam Professorship of South Asian Studies. She joined Harvard from the University of Texas at Austin, where she had taught for more than 20 years. Professor Selby is a renowned scholar and translator of Tamil and Sanskrit literatures, with many volumes to her name.

She is currently focusing on completing her translation of a third-century anthology of poetry, Kuruntokai, for the Murty Classical Library of India.  It will be the first work from the Tamil language to appear in the series.  Her next project will take her into the world of Dalit fiction in Tamil.  There are several authors whose works she will be exploring in depth, translating them and writing on how fiction acts as a kind of “interface” with creativity and a writer’s “public face” as an activist and intellectual.