Dr Huon  Wardle

Dr Huon Wardle

Senior Lecturer

Researcher profile



Research areas

Cosmopolitanism, cosmopolitics, common-sense, comedy, adventure, ethics, aesthetics, epoché, existential anthropology. Area specialities: Jamaica, the Caribbean.

My work has centred on cosmopolitanism and cosmopolitics with an ethnographic focus on the Caribbean and its 'creolising' social-cultural processes. I have more than thirty years’ experience conducting and supervising research on the Caribbean region. My writing moves between an ethnographic (descriptive-analytical) strand and an exploration of grounding concepts in social and philosophical anthropology: these include the idea of 'common-sense' as a human universal.

My enduring interest as an anthropologist has been in individuals and how they make a meaningful world, finding freedoms for themselves; how they transcend cultural categories and constraints through cosmopolitanizing narrations of experience. Theoretically this has led me into thinking about the ideas and practices that make up a cosmopolitan view, including openness or hospitality toward the ‘foreign’, empathy across categorical boundaries, utopian imagining and the idea of the transcendence of immediate or ‘temporal’ constraints.

Currently Director of Postgraduate Teaching at the Department of Social Anthropology, I am the author/editor of ten volumes, most recently Cosmopolitan Moment, Cosmopolitan Method, and more than seventy academic papers and other interventions. I was awarded the Royal Anthropological Institute’s J.B. Donne Prize in 2014.

Positions held at the University of St Andrews:
Head of the Department of Social Anthropology, 2018—2021
Director of the Centre for Cosmopolitan Studies, 2015—2018
Director of the Centre for Amerindian, Latin American, and Caribbean Studies, 2010—2013

PhD supervision

  • Josephine Mullen
  • Cristian Erazo Romero
  • Yichi Zhang
  • Shanay Davis
  • Siqi Ren
  • Chang Liu
  • Hector Trujillo

Selected publications


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