Aliosha Bielenberg

PhD student


AB Brown University
MSc (Digital Cultural Heritage) The Cyprus Institute
MA (Philosophy) KU Leuven

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Research Interests

  • Social and political thought (Marx, Arendt, Foucault, philosophical anthropology)
  • Modern European philosophy (Spinoza, Kant, Wittgenstein, Levinas, philosophy of history)
  • History and society of Cyprus (especially Byzantine, Ottoman, and twentieth-century)

In my research, I am interested in how individuals and societies negotiate difference and sameness as we form political affinities, create cultural artifacts, and build a material world together. To do this work, I use resources and methods from my training in history, anthropology, and philosophy. My immediate research focus is Cyprus, with broad interests in objects, objectivity, heritage, and world-making.

My writing has appeared in EidolonTaxisAmor Mundi, and The Point. In my senior honors thesis, I explored the concept of “world-making” by focusing on Hannah Arendt, a twentieth-century German-Jewish political philosopher, and the Khoi-San, an indigenous people of South Africa. My other research projects have included an NSF-funded study of medieval North Atlantic textiles; a project on John Wesley Gilbert, a classicist and the first African-American to earn a graduate degree from Brown; and a study of Agios Sozomenos, an abandoned village near Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, with a multi-layered past and complexly resonating present.

I began my PhD in the Department of Rhetoric in Fall 2022. I previously received my MA from the Institute of Philosophy at KU Leuven in Belgium and an MSc in Digital Cultural Heritage from the Cyprus Institute. In May 2020, I received my bachelor’s degree from Brown University, concentrating in Archaeology and the Ancient World (as a member of the Engaged Scholars Program) and Critical Thought and Global Social Inquiry (as an Independent Concentration).

Alongside my academic work, I am committed to building communities through relationships of generosity and hospitality — for instance, through my involvement in climate activism and shared governance. Since 2015, I have also been a volunteer with the European Youth Parliament, a peer-to-peer non-formal educational program that runs events across 40 countries. Lastly, I am an enthusiastic amateur musician, playing piano and clarinet in Western and Ottoman classical, jazz, and popular music ensembles.

I am very happy to hear from you if you would like to talk about any of my work, applying to PhD programs, or anything in-between. Please feel free to send me an email!