Robert Menzies

BA (Hons) (Manitoba), MA (Manitoba), PhD (Iowa)
A photograph of Dr Robert Menzies
Surrey Office: Surrey Main 2850C

Dr. Robert Menzies earned his PhD in 2004 from The University of Iowa’s School of Religious Studies. As part of his program he spent an academic year in Varanasi, India, where he discovered the glories of paan. After graduating he taught as Visiting Assistant Professor at Albion College in Albion, Michigan, and followed that with a one-year term in Hinduism at Concordia University in Montreal. He has taught a variety of Asian religions and history courses at University of Winnipeg and University of Manitoba. He also taught one summer at Chonnam National University in Gwangju, South Korea (where he discovered the glories of various types of kimchi).

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 (vrats) 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. Since coming to KPU Dr. Menzies has happily taught within History and Asian Studies and is delighted to be developing alternative delivery methods to better serve KPU’s student population. When not teaching and researching, Dr. Menzies can be found exploring the roads of the Lower Mainland on the glorious form of transportation known as a motorcycle.

Areas of Interest

Asian religions and history; Hindu mythology; Hindu women's domestic rituals; South Asian diaspora

Scholarly Work

  • “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.