Meet Our Wadsworth International Fellows: Arafat Mamyrbekov

With the support of the Wadsworth International Fellowship Arafat Mamyrbekov will continue his training in sociocultural anthropology at the University of Calgary, Canada, hosted by Saulesh Yessenova. Read the previous entries in the series here.

The project that I am pursuing as part of my doctoral studies explores multigenerational effects of Soviet nuclear militarism on indigenous communities in northeastern Kazakhstan and their ancestral lands.   I examine how the production and testing of nuclear weapons in the service of the arms race has shaped their understandings of citizenship, national security, well-being, and nuclear risk, and explore impacts on the local economy in the aftermath of the Cold War. My hope is that this research will contribute to ongoing public debates in Kazakhstan on the country’s nuclear past and post-nuclear futures.

Before beginning the PhD Program in Anthropology at University of Calgary, I received an undergraduate diploma in Eastern Studies from the Almaty State University in 2002; an MA in History from the Semipalatinsk State Pedagogical Institute in 2007; and a graduate candidacy degree in History from the Shakarim State University in Semey in 2010.

Completing the PhD program at the University of Calgary will enable me to achieve my research goals in anthropology, as well as provide me with  credentials needed to introduce anthropology courses at my home university in Kazakhstan and produce critical research for public good in Semey, the largest urban center in the region that suffered most from the radioactive fallout.