Dr Charlotte Hawkins

Dr Charlotte Hawkins

Visiting Fellow

Department of Anthropology

Room No
Key Expertise
UK, Uganda

About me


Charlotte is a Postdoctoral Research Officer in the Department of Anthropology at LSE, where she is involved in the Periscope project and the LSE Commission for Pandemic Governance and Inequality. Her work as a medical anthropologist focuses on the social economies of mental health and wellbeing. 

Based on ethnographic research in Kampala, Uganda, Charlotte’s doctoral monograph considers everyday ageing in the city, offering the often-overlooked perspective of older people on the digital, urban life and the politics of care and cooperation. The monograph examines how cooperative ideals of ageing are enacted and made meaningful, often explicitly with reference to the global economic and health crises perceived to both necessitate and undermine them. This includes a focus on the re-configuration of intergenerational care roles in the city, including digital care across distances, neighbourhood mutuality and the self-care work of older women. She argues that these strategies of self-reliance and mutual support locate key touchpoints for policy and practice.

Her current and future research is focused on ethnographic approaches to advocating for ‘social infrastructures’ in the UK. She is particularly interested in the potential of collaborative anthropology to understand health concepts and inequities, and to inform related policy and service provision. As a Research Officer working with Professor Laura Bear on the Periscope Project, she will contribute to this multi-disciplinary study on the socioeconomic impacts of the covid-19 pandemic and will lead a commission informing policy on pandemic response and preparedness in relation to multi-level governance and community care networks. To understand and alleviate the health inequalities reproduced through pandemic policy, this commission will consider various themes around health policymaking, including the role of evidence in health emergencies, relationships between statutory and voluntary care services, and the uneven distribution of care work under austerity and cost-of-living crises. Alongside the commission, Charlotte is conducting pilot research into the political economy of care in Hackney, London, through engagement with community care organisations in the borough.

Expertise Details

Uganda; UK; mental health; care work; morality; critical global health; health inequalities; engaged anthropology

Selected publications

Selected Publications

Journal article; Hawkins, C., Bwanika, J.M., Ibanda, M., 2020. Socio-economic factors associated with mental health disorders in Fort Portal, western Uganda. SAJ Psychiatry 26.

Journal article; Bwanika, J.M, Hawkins, C. et al, 2022. A Qualitative Study of Mental Health Attribution, Perceptions and Care-Seeking in Kampala, Uganda. SAJ Psychiatry 28.

Comparative book; Miller, D. et al 2021. The Global Smartphone: Beyond a Youth Technology. UCL Press.

In Press

Monograph; ‘Ageing with Smartphones in Uganda: togetherness in the dotcom age’ (Peer reviewed, UCL Press)

Co-edited Volume; 'Anthropological mHealth: health & care in the smartphone age' (Under review, UCL Press)

Chapter; 'An Anthropological Approach to Tele-Psychotherapy' (Under review, UCL Press)

Journal article; 'Bringing Ageing to Life: a global comparative study of age categories' (Under review, Anthropology & Aging)

Journal article; 'Hypertension in Context: pressure, ageing and care in Kampala, Uganda' (Under review, Anthropology & Medicine)

Selected Paper Presentations

UCL Institute for Global Health, seminar series in conversation with Dr Rochelle Burgess: 'Hypertension in Context'.

EASA 2022, 'Age and Work: an ethnographic perspective'.

AAA 2021, 'Care & Surveillance: regulating care obligations'.

EASA 2020, 'Ageing and migration: intergenerational care within and across borders'