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  • Gwen Grewal

    Onassis Lecturer in Ancient Greek Thought and Language


    Office Location
    D - 79 Fifth Avenue

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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 Cratylus, New Alexandria, forthcoming 
    • The Grammar of the Self: Plato’s Laches, Menexenus, and Alcibiades I, by Michael Davis with translations by Davis and Grewal (forthcoming)

    Edited Collections:

    • “Poetic (Mis)quotations in Plato,” guest editor and contributor, forthcoming in [email protected], Center for Hellenic Studies, 2022


    • "A punk by any other name would smell as rotten" in Punk Rock and Philosophy, eds. Josh Heter and Richard Greene (Carus, 2022)
    • “Doing Less More: A Double Apology in Plato's Euthydemus,” in Writing the Poetic Soul of Philosophy: Essays in Honor of Michael Davis, ed., Denise Schaeffer (St. Augustine’s Press, 2019)
    • “The Daimonic Soul: On Plato’s Theages,” co-authored with Michael Davis, in Strange Fellows: Socratic Philosophy and Its Others, ed., Christopher A. Dustin and Denise Schaeffer (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013) 

    Other Translations (annotated and printed for use in courses):    Plato’s Minos, Crito, Lesser Hippias, Theages


    Bernie's Mittens

    Orbit Author Page, 2017-18

    Performances and Appearances

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

     “The Happier Hour: Reflections in Wonderland,” “Creativity,” Caveat, 2018

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

    Research Interests

    Plato, Ancient Philosophy and its reception, especially, the relationship between poetry and philosophy, and problems of translation and language; Fashion  


    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)

    Future Courses

    Ancient Greek, Beginner
    GPHI 5015, Fall 2022

    Ancient Greek, Intermediate
    GPHI 5018, Spring 2023

    Independent Study
    GPHI 6990, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

    Origin Stories
    GPHI 6795, Spring 2023

    Past Courses

    Ancient Greek, Intermediate
    GPHI 5018, Spring 2022

    Independent Study
    GPHI 6990, Spring 2022

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