While living in Delhi in 1978, Vanita co-founded Manushi: A Journal about Women and Society, a journal that combined academic research and grassroots activism. She served as the journal's co-editor from 1979 to 1990. She also was a reader at Miranda House, and in the English Department of the University of Delhi. Author of several books and many literary translations, she has also published many academic articles on Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, and Indian literature in journals such as Shakespeare Survey, Studies in English Literature 1500-1900, Comparative Drama, Postcolonial Studies, GLQ and Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion. She is now a professor at the University of Montana as part of the Liberal Studies Program.
Co-edited with Madhu Kishwar, "In Search of Answers: Indian Women’s Voices from Manushi" (London: Zed Books, 1984, revised edition Horizon Books, Delhi, 1991).
Vanita, Ruth, A Play of Light: Selected Poems (Penguin India, 1994)
Vanita, Ruth, Sappho and the Virgin Mary: Same-Sex Love and the English Literary Imagination (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996)
Vanita, Ruth and Saleem Kidwai (eds.) (2000) Same-Sex love in India: Readings from Literature and History. London: Palgrave Macmillan. New Delhi: Macmillan. Updated edition forthcoming from Penguin India, 2008. ISBN 0-312-22169-X
Vanita, Ruth. Queering India: Same-Sex Love and Eroticism in Indian Culture and Society (New York: Routledge, 2002)
Vanita, Ruth, Love's Rite: Same-Sex Marriage in India and the West (New York: Palgrave-Macmillan; New Delhi: Penguin India, 2005)