Alexander Forte

  • Colgate University
  • Department of Classics
  • Visiting Assistant Professor

I received my AB in Greek and Latin from Brown University in 2009, having started Sanskrit as a visiting student at Oxford. After taking a gap year to tutor Classics in New York and study Sanskrit in Pune, India, I began my PhD at Harvard in Classical Philology, graduating in 2017 with a secondary field in Historical Linguistics and a dissertation on metaphor in Homer. In 2017-18, I will be a Visiting Assistant Professor at Colgate University’s Department of Classics.

My work attempts to test the ways in which philology, as a recursive discipline of language, can be productively integrated with aspects of American pragmatism, phenomenology, cognitive and historical linguistics, and psychology. Particularly, I am interested advancing an empirically rigorous account of lexical meaning (and necessarily category construction) to create new ways of reading and understanding ancient poetic traditions. A part of this project studies how embodied metaphors structure ancient texts, and how we use these same metaphors to construct and mediate modern realities, scholarly and other.

Some topics of my published and forthcoming scholarship include: Greco-Ugaritic comparison, epistemological vagaries of idiom in antiquity, methods of comparative Indo-European poetics, Pre-Socratic philosophy’s debt to earlier poetic traditions, conceptualizations of repetition as modelling intertextuality, and the relationship between neurophenomenological and cognitive linguistic approaches to emotion. I have presented papers on Neronian intertextuality, verbs of vision in Indo-European, the etymology of Gk. noos, Archilochus’ metaphors, and the neuroscience of ring composition.