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Research at St Andrews

Huon Wardle


Huon Wardle
Postal address:
School of Philosophical
Anthropological & Film Studies
(Social Anthropology)
71 North Street, St Andrews
United Kingdom


Direct phone: +44 (0)1334 462982

Research overview

Cosmopolitanism, cosmopolitics, diaspora, comedy, ethics, aesthetics. Area specialities: Jamaica, the Caribbean.

Research overview

My work as an anthropologist has focused on cosmopolitanism, cosmopolitics and the Caribbean region. I am Head of the Department of Social Anthropologyat the University of St Andrews, formerly Director the Centre for Cosmopolitan Studies and editor of the Centre's Yearbook in Cosmopolitan Studies. 

While my core ethnographic research has been in a lower class neighbourhood of Kingston, Jamaica, some of my recent work has looked at the changing meaning of being ‘middle class’ in the Caribbean. Newer directions of study take a historical view of creolisation exploring the early Twentieth Century mass migrations of West Indian workers to the big U.S. and British colonial projects such as the Panama Canal venture and the Amazon rubber boom. Most recently, I my research has focused on the understanding the 'Windrush' immigration scandal from a social and historical perspective.

I am interested in individuals and how they make a meaningful world, finding freedoms for themselves in a creolising setting; how they transcend cultural categories and constraints through certain kinds of cosmopolitan gesture and symbolisation. Theoretically this has led me into thinking about the ideas that go into a cosmopolitan view–openness or hospitality toward the ‘foreign’, empathy across categorical boundaries, utopian imagining and the idea of the transcendence of the immediate or ‘temporal’.

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