portrait von Bieberstein

Alice von Bieberstein

Affiliated 15-16 (Term I), 14-15 (Term II-III)

Social Anthropology


Alice von Bieberstein studied social anthropology at the University of Cambridge, where she received her PhD in 2012. Her research is concerned with subjectivity, materiality, and politics and their implication in the experience, mediation and knowledge of past and present histories of political violence. She is finishing a manuscript, a study of survival and subjectivity focusing on the Armenian community in two post-genocidal states, Germany and Turkey. She is currently a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Cambridge as part of an ERC-funded project entitled ‘Living with Remnants: Politics, Materiality and Subjectivity in the Aftermath of Past Atrocities in Turkey’. She has taught at the University of Cambridge and published, among others, in Cultural Anthropology.

Untimely Matter(s): Chancing Upon Treasures in a Landscape of Ruination

My research focuses on past and present engagements with and the transformations of landscape in a region of Western Armenia/Northern Kurdistan/Eastern Anatolia. In particular I focus on two groups that err the land in search for ‘historical’ sites and treasures of ambivalent visibility and tangibility. I focus less on points of departure and stated goals, but on the chance encounters, defeats and failures, and on the technological, hermeneutical and bodily-affective engagements with materials and matters that make up these journeys. This material provides the ground to think through the role of matter and materiality in non-teleological conceptualisations of temporality. I do so in engagement with late 20th century literature on violence, trauma and time and more recent conceptual work on ruination, affect and new materialisms.


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