DPhil Migration Students Student
Green Templeton College
Maria’s research interests lie in the intersection of urban studies and social anthropology, more specifically ethnography of the state, infrastructuring, urban decay, and ruination with a geographical focus on Eastern Europe and Southern Caucasus.
Maria is a Hill Foundation Scholar. Her doctoral research and fieldwork are part of the ERC-funded EMPTINESS project. Within it, she will be exploring the changing rationality of the postsocialist state with participant observations carried out in a small Armenian town. Looking at how “state failure” is bemoaned and/or acted upon will allow reflecting on the lingering state-society and state-capital divide. Furthermore, it will provide material to discuss the intricate interrelation between statecraft and statehood–whether they overlap and co-shape each other, or whether and how statecraft is at times sacrificed in the name of statehood.
Before joining the University of Oxford, Maria obtained an MSc in Human Geography from the Moscow Lomonosov State University in 2012 and a Russian postgraduate degree, Candidate of Sciences in Human Geography, from the Institute of Geography Russian Academy of Sciences in 2015. Later, she worked at the Institute of Geography RAS (Moscow), Center for the Economy of the North and Arctic (Moscow), Higher School of Economics (Moscow). Maria was a Visiting Fellow at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography in Leipzig (Germany) in 2015 within the ira.urban project “Urban Reconfigurations in Post-Soviet Space” funded by the Leibniz Association. Furthermore, her Visiting Fellowship at the Institute of Geography Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (France) in 2019 was supported by the “Bourses Metchnikov” Embassy of France in Moscow’s short-term academic mobility grant.
Maria’s publications are featured in such journals as Cities, European Planning Studies, Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, Political Geography, Eurasian Geography and Economics. She co-edited “Postsocialist Shrinking Cities” collective monograph published by Routledge in 2022.
Gunko, M., Conti, B., Sheludkov, A., Baudet-Michel, S., Novkunskaya, A. 2022. Lost in transformation: comparative analysis of healthcare provision dynamics within urban systems of European Russia and France. Eurasian Geography and Economics https://doi.org/10.1080/15387216.2022.2120033
Gunko, M. 2022. “Russian imperial gaze”: Reflections from Armenia since the start of the Russia-Ukraine military conflict. Political Geography https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2022.102739
Gunko, M., Zupan, D., Riabova, L., Zaika, Yu., & Medvedev, A. 2022. From policy mobility to top-down policy transfer: ‘Comfortization’ of Russian cities beyond neoliberal rationality. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space 40(6), 1382–1400. https://doi.org/10.1177/23996544221081688