Charles holds a B.A. in both Anthropology and Near Eastern Studies from the University of California, Berkeley (2014). His undergraduate research focused on the notion of sedentism and its application to archaeological contexts. His thesis proposed redefining sedentism through semiotics and practice theory so that mobility could be discussed at legacy sites through pre-urban mortuary contexts.
At Notre Dame, Charles’ research focuses on how the interaction between groups with different forms of transport, production, and mobility results in structures of resilience, dependence, and novel lifeways. His theoretical focus centers on practice, network-formation, systems theory, and landscape-based approaches to material culture. Methodologically, he studies social structures in the archaeological record of communities partaking in Trans-Indian Ocean trade. In modern applications, Charles’ work focuses on the dynamics of structural dominance, inequality, and identity to understand how each are not only structurally imposed on cultural practice—such as ‘legitimized’ forms of mobility and immigration—but bi-directionally crafted by communities. As such, his work on material networks is complemented by ethnographic study to frame transitions of mobility and development in both past and present contexts. Charles is a Kellogg doctoral student affiliate and University Fellow.