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Photo Credit: Rose Callahan

reviews of Fashion | Sense:


Gwenda-lin Grewal is currently the Onassis Lecturer in Ancient Greek Thought and Language and Assistant Professor of Ancient Philosophy at the New School for Social Research, USA. She is the author of Fashion | Sense: On Philosophy and Fashion (Bloomsbury, 2022), Thinking of Death in Plato’s Euthydemus: A Close Reading and New Translation (Oxford University Press, 2022), the edited volume, Poetic (Mis)quotations in Plato (Center for Hellenic Studies, 2022), and English translations of Plato’s Phaedo (Center for Hellenic Studies, 2018) and Plato’s Cratylus (New Alexandria, forthcoming). She occasionally writes essays about pop culture.


Her awards include the Blegen Research Fellowship (Vassar College). an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship (Yale University), an H.B. Earhart Graduate Fellowship, and the Stanley and Evelyn Lipkin Prize in Humanities. She has been a visiting scholar at Harvard University and the American Academy in Rome.


She is part of the Intergenerational Team at The New Alexandria and a member of the Board at The Benardete Archive


She also owns the whimsical clothing line, Hardly Alice.

You can contact her at: grewalg @

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Photo Credit: Matthew Niederhauser

FASHION | SENSE is Gwenda-lin Grewal's brilliant meditation, deeply erudite but also playful and full of wit, on clothing as disguise, revelation, acquiescence, transformation, identity, and second self, as the ‘bodies we put on.’ In Grewal's hands the ‘age-old argument’ between philosophy and fashion, the things of the mind and the things of the body, is scintillatingly renewed.” ―SALMAN RUSHDIE

Fashion | Sense: On Philosophy and Fashion by Gwenda-lin Grewal explores how philosophers underestimate fashion's power in their search for the naked truth. Mercifully devoid of academic jargon and pomposity, the book is studded with brilliant and often witty observations on the unexpected parallels between philosophy and fashion.” ―VALERIE STEELE

“A fascinating book by a great new talent which wholly successfully drags philosophy out the closet. In writing that is at once clear and deep, classically informed and very funny, Grewal makes a wholly convincing case for the kinship of philosophy and fashion. Highly recommended.” ―SIMON CRITCHLEY


“This rich, knowledgeable, variegated book challenges easy assumptions about fashion's modernity. Grewal juxtaposes contemporary manifestations of fashion with situations and characters from ancient literatures in an expert pursuit of fashion-thinking, where “fashion-thinking” means philosophy's engagement with dress, but also fashion's own mode of reflection.” ―NICKOLAS PAPPAS

Fashion | Sense: On Philosophy and Fashion is a brilliant book. It is not brilliant, however, in the Apollonian 43 sense: it does not (necessarily) illuminate its subject from afar, shining a cool light of reason on the relationship between the seemingly incongruent realms of philosophy and fashion. Rather, it is a smart, seductive Dionysian tango of grace and wit... extremely original in writing and thinking.”—JEFFREY DESHELL (Review for Fashion Theory)

"Gwenda-lin Grewal’s Fashion Sense should be read more than once, for it moves conceptually, on multiple levels, and stylistically on many others. If you read it for its insights into Ancient Greek philosophy, you will find yourself returning to it for its sharp criticism of contemporary society—mores and looks. On a third time, you may want to reread it just for its prose. Grewal can write and seems to enjoy writing quite a bit. Sarcasm, intellectual acumen, style, and a bit of standoffishness are some of the book’s features.... "—LAURA T. DISUMMA (Review for British Journal of Aesthetics)

reviews of Thinking of Death:

"[T]he commentary derives from much iconoclastic thinking—about death, thinking about death, and the death of thinking—and aptly demonstrates the value of creativity in approaching a Platonic text. The almost-gothic Plato who emerges, one who ‘drinks from his own skull and sees Socrates’ afterlife’ (213), is a fun alternative to some of the dryer and more stodgy Platos on offer in contemporary secondary literature. ...I will insist upon using this translation when teaching the Euthydemus to graduate and advanced undergraduate students in the future." - COLIN C. SMITH for Ancient Philosophy


"This book offers a wealth of background information to read the Euthydemus, suggestive comparisons to the Greek literary tradition and beyond, striking cross-references to other dialogues, and fruitful discussions of the possible implications and significance of often neglected details and allusions in the text." - DANIEL VÁZQUEZ for Greece & Rome


Photo Credit: Alison Awtrey Graham
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