Reader, Department of Social Anthropology


Dr Daniel M. Knight is Reader in the Department of Social Anthropology and Director of the Centre for Cosmopolitan Studies at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. He has held positions at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Durham University and collaborates closely with the British School at Athens. He holds a PhD in Anthropology from Durham University.

Daniel has been conducting ethnographic research in Thessaly, central Greece, since 2003, writing on the economic crisis, time and temporality, neoliberalism and neocolonialism, and renewable energy. His first book, “History, Time, and Economic Crisis in Central Greece” (2015) explores how moments of the past are intricately woven together and embodied during eras of social upheaval. Turning his attention from the past to the future, Daniel is co-author of “The Anthropology of the Future” (2019), where he presents the concept of ‘orientations’ as a way to study the indefinite teleologies of everyday life. His most recent monograph, “Vertiginous Life: An Anthropology of Time and the Unforeseen” (2021) presents a theory of temporal vertigo and associated affects induced by a period of chronic crisis in Greece.

His recent Leverhulme Trust project focused on the temporal complexity of renewable energy initiatives in austerity Greece, addressing how economic uncertainty has created dynamic spaces for entrepreneurial opportunism while renewables are locally perceived as neo-colonial programs and new extractive economies. This research is currently being written-up as a monograph under the provisional title “Renewable Energy in the Age of Austerity”. Additionally, Daniel is currently working on an edited volume about French philosopher of science, Michel Serres.

Daniel is co-editor of “Ethnographies of Austerity: Temporality, Crisis and Affect in Southern Europe” (2017) and has edited special collections on “Alternatives to Austerity” (2017),, “Orientations to the Future” (2019), and “Emptiness” (2020).

He is co-editor of “History and Anthropology” journal and his research has been funded by the ESRC, EPSRC, Leverhulme Trust, British Academy, National Bank of Greece.

Selected publications

2021 Vertiginous Life: An Anthropology of Time and the Unforeseen. New York: Berghahn.

2019 The Anthropology of the Future. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (with Rebecca Bryant)

2017 Energy Talk, Temporality, and Belonging in Austerity Greece. Anthropological Quarterly, Volume 90, Number 1, pp: 167–192

2017 The Green Economy as Sustainable Alternative? Anthropology Today, Volume 33, Issue 5, pp: 28-31

2015 Sun, wind, and the rebirth of extractive economies: renewable energy investment and metanarratives of crisis in Greece (with Nicolas Argenti). Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp: 781-802.