As a comparative-historical sociologist and a social theorist, Kowalski's research interests center on the history of policies and politics of culture. She received her PhD from New York University, and holds an MA in Sociology (NYU) as well as an MA in the Epistemology of the Social Sciences (Sorbonne-Paris-IV). She was a Fung Fellow at the Institute for International and Regional Studies at Princeton University as well as a Florence Gould Fellow (Council for European Studies); visiting scholar at McGill University's Department of Media and Art History and at NYU's Institute for Public Knowledge. Her recent publications deal with UNESCO's World Heritage program, the decentralization of policies of patrimoine in France, and Hungary's Holocaust memory. She has also worked and published on sexuality and everyday culture in Germany and France, the Arts and Crafts movement, and TV and nationalism in the French heritage movement.
At the department of Sociology and Social Anthropology and at the Cultural Heritage Program Kowalski teaches the following courses: Politics of Memory and Heritage; Contemporary Social Theory; Sociology of the State; State, knowledge, experts; State/culture.