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 in pre-urban mortuary contexts in Bab adh-Dhra’ Jordan.
At Notre Dame, Charles’ research focuses on socioeconomic network formation between groups emerging as globally tied actors, focusing on communities tied to the Trans Indian Ocean Trade Network. His work seeks to illuminate how differing forms of transport, production, and mobility result in the manifestation of varying urban networks over time. His theoretical focus centers on structuration, semiotics, practice, network-formation, and landscape-based approaches to material culture. Methodologically, Charles uses ethnographic study for comparative models of maritime trade as complement archaeological data from sites along the Indian Ocean. Conversely, Charles’ work focuses on using these archaeological and ethnographic datasets to better understand how dynamics of power, inequality, and identity to are not only structurally imposed on cultural practice-- through legitimate/illegitimate forms of organization, mobility, and immigration--but bi-directionally crafted by communities. In so doing, Charles works in collaboration with Kellogg scholars to understand how variation in community structures and negotiated practice results in the forms of representation and globally-tied networks that we see today.
My research seeks to illuminate the formation of local area networks during periods of early globalization. Specifically, I study locations that were early members of the Trans Indian Ocean Trade Network, later known as the Maritime Silk Road, through archaeological and ethnographic research. While my archaeological investigation provides insight into the formation of the early global network, my ethnographic work provides a modern counter to this investigation. Using contemporary ethnography allows me to provide a model for material analysis and paves an immediate path for applying my research to modern international networks. By investigating the local area-formation of these trade economies, my work can help to understand emergent participants in global networks that can shape our perspective on international representation and policy in an increasingly globalized world.