Public & Academic Writing

I am a social anthropologist and communication studies scholar

My institutional profile gives some more detail about what I do as a Lecturer and Researcher at the University of Otago.

My creative writing (as shown on the other pages of this website) is very much entwined with my academic practice, but this page features some of the writing I do for the media, or academic outlets.

Public writing on academic research

Meet Aotearoa’s Cyborg Kids

In The Spinoff (2022)

Red flag waving: Precarity of kiwis in Australia is not just a Covid-19 issue

In In(corrigibly) Plural (2020)

Academic publications (journal articles & technical reports)

Wardell, S. (2021). “Dividing the Light: Personal reflections on anthropological becomings.” Commoning Ethnography.

Wardell, S. (2021/forthcoming).Threshold Concepts in Social Anthropology: Literature and Pedagogical Applications in a Bridging Project”. Teaching and Learning Anthropology. *forthcoming

Buhler, M., Wardell, S., Fitzgerald, R.P. (2021/forthcoming). “‘We’re all watching each other’: Dunedin supermarket workers and the 2020 pandemic lockdown.” Sites *forthcoming

Wardell, S. (2021/forthcoming). Dialogical Sense-Making in the Digital Public Sphere: Citizenship, Care, and Disability. Sites

Wardell, S. (2021). Wishing you well: The biopolitical subjectivities of medical crowdfunders during and after Aotearoa New Zealand’s COVID19 lockdown. BioSocieties.

Wardell, S. (2021). Southern/Cross. Sites, 18(1). 2 pages.

Wardell, S. (2021). Fingeryeyes; Social Scripts; Flow (Three Poems Exploring Digital Affect). Anthropology and Humanism 46(1).7 pages.

Neuwelt-Kearns, C., Baker, T., Calder-Dawn, O., Bartos, A.E., Wardell, S. (2021). Getting the crowd to care: Marketing illness through health-related crowdfunding in Aotearoa New Zealand. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space: Special Issue. Advance online publication

Robinson, E., Wardell, S. (2020). Technical Report: Effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on the healthcare experiences of medical crowdfunders in Aotearoa New Zealand. University of Otago.

Wardell, S. (2020). Naming and framing ecological distress. Medicine, Anthropology, Theory, 7(2), 187-201.

Trundle, C., Wardell, S. (2020). The meaning of pain: exploring the intersections of poetry and ethnography. Irish Journal of Anthropology: Special issue, 22(1), 238-253.                                              

Wardell, S. (2019). Weaving together: Aroha as capacity and work. Sites, 16(2), 1-10.

Wardell, S. (2018). A Stranger in the Name of Jesus: Exploring cosmopolitan ethics in a Ugandan Christian Care Community. Sites, 15(2), 165-188.

Wardell, S. & Fitzgerald, R.P. (2018). Psychometrics as moral labour: subject formation at the intersection of neoliberal and spiritual discourse. BioSocieties, 1-23.

Fitzgerald, R.P., Wardell, S., & Legge, M. (2017). Fetal Genetic Difference and a Cosmopolitan Vernacular of the Right to Choose. Women’s Studies International Forum, 110-117.

Wardell, S., Fitzgerald, R. P., Legge, M., & Clift, K. (2014). A qualitative and quantitative analysis of the New Zealand media portrayal of Down syndrome. Disability and Health Journal, 7(2), 242–250.

Wardell, S. (2013). Doctors and All Blacks: How depression and its treatment is framed in New Zealand GP-targeted advertising. Sites, 10(2), 52-81.


Wardell, S. (2018). Living in the Tension: Care, selfhood, and wellbeing among faith-based youth workers. Carolina Academic Press; North Carolina.

Commentary on professional issues
(blog posts, interviews & podcasts)

The Ethnographer’s Stomach

While no one’s sure which foods are good for our microbiomes, eating more veggies can’t hurt.

In Corpus (2017)

The Human Show – interview (social media)

Discussing online sociality, social media, mental health and self-care (Feb 2018)

Conversations in anthropology -interview

Podcast interview with Mythily Meyer

10 questions with… Susan Wardell

Discussing my book, in ASAA/NZ blog (2020)