Aliosha Bielenberg

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Research Interests

Social and political thought
Continental philosophy
Histories of colonialism and nationalism
Byzantine Studies and Late Antiquity


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 drawn from my training in history, anthropology, and philosophy. My immediate research focus is Cyprus, with broad interests in objects, objectivity, heritage, and world-making.

I began my PhD in Rhetoric in Fall 2022 after graduating with an MA from the Institute of Philosophy at KU Leuven in Belgium. I previously worked as a Research Assistant at the Cyprus Institute’s Science and Technology in Archaeology and Culture Research Center. In May 2020, I received my AB from Brown University, where I concentrated in Archaeology and the Ancient World (as a member of the Engaged Scholars Program) and completed an Independent Concentration in Critical Thought and Global Social Inquiry.

My writing has appeared in EidolonTaxis, and The Point. In my senior honors thesis, I explored the concept of “world-making” by focusing on Hannah Arendt and the Khoi-San of South Africa. I have also worked on 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.

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. For the past seven years, 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 via email if you would like to talk about my research interests, applying to PhD programs, or anything in-between. Please feel free to reach out!