Magdalena Stawkowski is a medical anthropologist researching Cold War nuclear legacies in Kazakhstan. She completed her Ph.D in Anthropology at the University of Colorado-Boulder. She is currently a Teaching Scholar in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at North Carolina State University. Previously, she was a Stanton and a MacArthur Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. She serves on the Board of Directors in EcoMuseum, an environmental non-governmental organization in Karaganda, Kazakhstan.
Her work examines how the changing visions of militarized spaces in and around the Soviet-era Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site have produced particular forms of social, political, and economic exclusion in the region. Stawkowski’s ethnographic research among rural communities in and around Semipalatinsk is an account of the local understandings of health and practices about illness. Specifically, she asks what compels people to live on radiation-infected land? How individuals living in and around the nuclear test site have come to see themselves as biologically evolved to survive in this environment? Stawkowski is currently working on a book manuscript based on her fieldwork.