SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Theodore Parker Charles

BA (Pacific Lutheran), MA (Idaho)


Theodore Charles
Theodore Parker Charles
Email address:
Thesis title:
Crossing Borders; The Evolution of Food Traditions in Post-Ottoman Thrace
Internal Supervisors


Theodore Charles has a background in cultural anthropology, archaeology, and photojournalism. He grew up north of Seattle in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. During his MA, he utilized Global Imaging Systems to analyze the spatial organization of saloons and brothels on the landscape of a small mining town in Idaho. Following the completion of his Masters, he received a Fulbright Grant to teach and research food traditions in Turkey. While living in Turkey, Theodore was a writer and photographer for Culinary Backstreets, exploring hyper-local cuisine and its history. His photography has been featured in numerous publications and social media accounts. Theodore is currently living in London while pursuing his PhD. His research interests include food, memory, nostalgia, identity, nationalism, post-Ottoman states, visual methods, material culture, and the Balkans.

PhD Research

I am conducting visual ethnography in Bulgaria with communities involved in the Heritage Food Movement. Villages experiencing depopulation are combatting crisis with traditional foods, promoting them at festivals and markets. I will utilize photography and participant observation to research the impact of preserving and sharing traditional foods on communities. My project will provide research for my Ph.D. dissertation, as well as serve as the foundation for journalistic photo-stories.