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Sarah Then Bergh

Ph.D. Student in Africana Studies


Sarah Then Bergh is a second year PhD student at the Africana Studies and Research Center, at Cornell University. Originally from Germany, she earned her BSc. Econ. (hons.) in International Politics and her M.A. (hons.) in International Relations on the David Davies Scholarship, at Aberystwyth University, Wales. Her undergraduate dissertation followed a Bourdieusian theoretical framework and feminist epistemological critiques of subjectivity formation to examine how societal structures continue to subjugate women in Western communities. Her master’s dissertation, for which she was awarded the Alfred Zimmern Prize by the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth, explored how music can act as a model for the theoretical encounter among the mainstream theoretical IR canon and ‘international relations from below’, to allow for their mutual engagement, premised on intersubjective socialization. In continuation of these projects, her current research interests are embedded in explorations of the philosophy of polyrhythmic African and African diasporic music and its relationship to: diasporic subjectivity formation; critiques of hegemonic cosmological underpinnings in the mainstream theoretical approaches to international relations; dialogical ethics in the music’s sociological settings; as well as explorations of black feminist body politics in relation to dance (and) performance.


  • Africana Studies and Research Center