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  • Gwen Grewal

    Onassis Lecturer in Ancient Greek Thought and Language


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    Gwen Grewal


    Gwenda-lin Grewal is the Onassis Lecturer in Ancient Greek Thought and Language in the Department of Philosophy.

    For me, philosophy involves a dialogue between the ordinary and the strange. This is played out between self and world and self and self in the tension between thinking and being—a tension that, if we are to believe Socrates in Plato’s Phaedo, would be best resolved by practicing "dying and being dead." At its least morbid, this would mean devoting oneself paradoxically to neutralizing one's own bias and interest, a task which seems to bring with it a curious (yet damning) pleasure, when one discovers one’s own estrangement in a moment of insight or connection. Philosophy must be suspicious about its own goodness too. How does one understand the goodness of the true? This question transfixes, and reflects within it questions of existence, meaning, and nothing, but especially nothing, which may be the strangest and most ordinary omission of all.


    Degrees Held

    PhD 2010, Philosophy & Classics (Joint Degree), Tulane University

    BA 2006, Philosophy & Classics, Sarah Lawrence College


    Recent Publications


    • Fashion | Sense: On Philosophy & Fashion (Bloomsbury Academic, 2022)
    • Thinking of Death in Plato’s Euthydemus: A Close Reading and New Translation (Oxford University Press, 2022)


    • Plato’s Phaedo, Center for Hellenic Studies, 2018
    • Plato’s Euthydemus (in Thinking of Death in Plato’s Euthydemus), Oxford University Press, 2022
    • Plato's Cratylus, New Alexandria, forthcoming 
    • Other Translations (annotated and printed for use in courses):    Plato’s Menexenus, Minos, Crito, Lesser Hippias, Theages

    Edited Collections:

    Some Recent Essays:

    • "Obsolete History and Twilight Metaphysics: On Heidegger's 'Der Spruch des Anaximander'" (forthcoming from Bollettino della Società Filosofica Italiana)
    • "Truth in Joking: On Aristophanes' Comic School" in Paideia on Stage, eds. Phillip Mitsis, Heather Reid, and Victoria Pichugina (Parnassos Press, 2023)
    • "A punk by any other name would smell as rotten" in Punk Rock and Philosophy, eds. Josh Heter and Richard Greene (Carus, 2022)
    • “A Note on Plato’s Euthydemus 304b” (on Pindar) in Classics@22: Poetic (Mis)quotations in Plato, Washington D.C.: Center for Hellenic Studies, 2022
    •  “How Philosophers Look,” Review of Nickolas Pappas’s The Philosopher’s New Clothes: The Theaetetus, the Academy, and Philosophy’s Turn Against Fashion, Ancient Philosophy, 41, Spring 2021
    • For more see my website www.gwengrewal.com

    Selected Other Media:

    Doll Power

    LA RB, Fashioning Death

    The Philosophy of Ripped Jeans

    Bernie's Mittens

    Performances and Appearances

    "Fashion, Identity, & Freedom of Expression," Political Theory Institute, American University, 2020

    “In Conversation with Salman Rushdie,” Sarah Lawrence College, 2017

    Research Interests

    Ancient Philosophy and its reception; Plato; Aesthetics (esp. fashion); poetry and philosophy; problems of translation and language.


    Awards And Honors

    Blegen Research Fellowship in Greek & Roman Studies (Vassar College, 2019-20); Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Humanities (Yale University, 2010-12); H.B. Earhart Doctoral Fellowship (2006-10)

    Current Courses

    Ancient Greek, Advanced
    GPHI 5019, Spring 2024

    Ancient Greek, Intermediate
    GPHI 5018, Spring 2024

    Independent Study
    GPHI 6990, Spring 2024

    Plato's Republic
    GPHI 6104, Spring 2024

    Future Courses

    Ancient Greek, Beginner
    GPHI 5015, Fall 2024

    Independent Study
    GPHI 6990, Fall 2024

    Philosophy and Tragedy
    LPHI 3508, Fall 2024

    Plato's Timaeus
    GPHI 6087, Fall 2024

    Past Courses

    Ancient Greek, Beginner
    GPHI 5015, Fall 2023

    Homer (and the Internet)
    GPHI 6301, Fall 2023

    Independent Study
    GPHI 6990, Fall 2023

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