Leon Wash

Research Interests: 

Poetry and Philosophy, with an emphasis on early Greece. My dissertation is about the early development in Greek poetry and philosophy of the concept of nature (φύσις) and its relationship with certain images and metaphors, especially vegetal and technological; focusing on Pindar and Empedocles, the dissertation pairs in-depth analyses of the concept of nature in each author with assessments of the precise significance of the authors’ plant metaphors (e.g. the “fruit of the mind” or the elemental “roots”), especially as opposed to their craft metaphors (e.g. the “builders of song” or the “rivets” of Aphrodite). Together with Dr. Alessandro Buccheri and Prof. Arnaud Macé, I am currently organizing a series of conferences under the title “ΦΥΣΙΣ ΚΑΙ ΦΥΤΑ: Nature and Plants in Ancient Greece”; for more information, please write to me at lwash@uchicago.edu or visit https://voices.uchicago.edu/phusiskaiphuta/.


Papers delivered: “On Nature and Death in Empedocles B8” at the Sixth Biennial Conference of the International Association for Presocratic Studies (IAPS), Delphi, Greece, June 2018; “Pindar and the Imitation of Herakles among Poets and Philosophers” at the Symposium Siracusa of Fonte Aretusa, Siracusa, Sicily; ‘One Learned to Grow from Many’: Nature, Metaphor and the Mind in Empedocles,” at the first Dublin Graduate Student Conference in Ancient Philosophy (UCD/TCD), Dublin, Ireland; “‘One Learned to Grow from Many’: Nature and Vegetal Metaphors in Empedocles” at the Fifth Biennial Conference of IAPS, University of Texas at Austin, June 2016; “Tragic Self-forgetting as True Culture: On Nietzsche and Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound” at SCS, January 2016; “Become who you are not knowing who you are: On Nietzsche and Pindar's Second Pythian” at Nietzsche und die Lyrik, Naumburg, October 2015; “ΦΡΕΝΩΝ ΚΑΡΠΟΣ: Vegetal Metaphors and the Mind in Early Greek Poetry” at Words, Metaphors, Concepts: New Advances in Historical Semantics, Chicago, May 2014; “As Homeric as Pindar May Be: Notes on Pythian 2.72” at APA, January 2012.