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Dr. Julie Botticello

Senior Lecturer

College of Applied Health and Communities, Health, Sport and Bioscience

As a social scientist, my work centres on people, knowledge and equity. My research interests concern alternative epistemologies and skills; decolonising academic curricula; living heritage; material and visual culture; post-colonialism and Africa; representation, voice and social justice.

    I bring perspectives from the social sciences and the humanities to teaching and research in Health Studies at UEL.

    • Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI)
    • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)
    • Member of the Royal African Society
    • Member of the European Association of Social Anthropologists


    Current and previous research

    As a social scientist, my work centres on people, knowledge and equity. I have conducted research in Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, the UK and the USA, and currently teach diverse cohorts of students at undergraduate, master and PhD levels. My research interests concern alternative epistemologies and skills; decolonising academic curricula; living heritage; material and visual culture; post-colonialism and Africa; representation, voice and social justice.

    Currently, I am programme leader for the MSc in Public Health and director of studies for two PhD students; one which assesses the impact of migration on Iranian women’s food practices and physical and mental well-being, and the other, which explores the nexus between victimhood and agency among internally displaced persons in Uganda.

    Overview of previous and ongoing research projects include:
    + My doctoral research with Yoruba Nigerians focused on their aspirations for wellbeing through local and transnational connections. The move to the centre of Empire facilitated opportunity to ascend within own communities, as leaders in local churches and market places. But it also presented the unintended consequences of racism, lack of opportunity to advance in British society, and ruptures in the intergenerational transmission of culture and values.

    +Research assistant on the Waste of the World Programme involved assessing the initial sorting processes undertaken with second hand clothing for reuse in different global markets. I conducted factory based research in the UK, working with the workers as they determined the next and most economically viable use for these discarded items.

    +Research fellow on Nottingham Lace, Capturing and representing knowledge involved another factory based research with the makers of Leavers Lace, at the last remaining factory in England. Once a flourishing industry, now patterns, machines and people located in competitor factories work in one, where the embodiment of knowledge resides as relations between people, machines and documents.

    +Collaborator with colleagues in Cape Town, South Africa, on developing critical interventions with students, academics and community members, to decolonise universities, their curricula and creates pathways toward equitable education and opportunity.

    Public engagement projects include:
    +Many Voices in the Community brought international spoken word artist, Kondwani Fidel, from the USA to the UK, to run workshops and headline performances on and off campus, connecting UEL to its local East London community.

    +Tackling TB Together trained UEL undergraduate students about TB and on outreach, so they could deliver health awareness raising sessions on campus and in Newham, to reduce the stigma surrounding TB and gain useful skills as community health workers. This project was nominated for the Guardian's Social and Community Impact award in 2017.



    • UEL
    • External


    Machine-made lace, the spaces of skilled practices and the paradoxes of contemporary craft production

    Fisher, T and Botticello, J. 2018. Cultural Geographies. pp. 1-21.

    Sweet dreams and happy endings: Women's development entrepreneurship in Rwanda

    Botticello, J. 2017. Food and Foodways Explorations in the History and Culture of Human Nourishment. 344-349.

    Relational resolutions: digital encounters in ethnographic fieldwork

    Botticello, J; Fisher, T and Woodward, S. 2016. Visual Studies. pp. 289-294.

    From documentation to dialogue: exploring new ‘routes to knowledge’ through digital image making

    Botticello, J. 2016. Visual Studies. pp. 310-323.

    Using 3D animation to capture and preserve intangible heritage: Industrial textile crafts

    Fisher, T, Donovan, N and Botticello, J . 2016. IIIC Furnace. pp. 1-8.

    Review of: 'Edible Identities, Food as cultural heritage' by R Brulotte and M Di Giovine (eds.)

    Botticello, J. 2015. Allegra Labs.

    Doing the ‘dirty work’ of the green economy: Resource recovery and migrant labour in the EU

    Gregson, N; Crang, M; Botticello, J; Calestani, M and Krzywoszynska, A. 2014. European Regional and Urban Studies. pp. 1-14.

    Fashioning Authentic Selves: Secondhand clothing and the Materialization of Enduring Values

    Botticello, J. 2014. Critical Studies in Fashion and Beauty. pp. 111-124.

    Re-producing Western Goods for Transnational markets: Case Studies in Rebranding and Revaluing Second-hand Clothes

    Botticello, J. 2013. Interactions: Studies in Communication and Culture. pp. 39–50 .

    Between Objectification, Classification and Perception: Processing Secondhand Clothes for Reuse

    Botticello, J. 2012. Textile. pp. 164-183 .

    Review of: 'Traveling Spirits: Migrants, Markets and Mobilities', by G. Hüwelmeier and K. Krause (eds.),

    Botticello, J. 2012. Religion and Society.

    Yoruba-Nigerians, Cosmopolitan Food Cultures and Identity Practices on a London Market

    Botticello, J. 2010. Taking Food Public: Redefining Foodways in a Changing World. pp. 425-437.

    Fashioning Individuality and Social Connectivity among Yoruba Women in London

    Botticello, J. 2009. Anthropology and the Individual. pp. 131-144.

    Lagos in London: Finding the Space of Home

    Botticello, J. 2007. Home Cultures. pp. 7-23.



    2017 - Civic Engagement Grant, Office of Civic Engagement, UEL (£3,995)

    2015 - Civic Engagement Grant, Office of Civic Engagement, UEL (£4,423)

    2015 - Early Career Research Grant, Research Investment Fund, UEL (£6,849)

    2015 - Research and Knowledge Exchange Activity Grant, Health Sport and Bioscience, UEL (£3,230)

    2015 - Research and Knowledge Exchange Internship Scheme, UEL (£2,000)

    2004 - Doctoral Award, Arts and Humanities Research Council (£61,853)

    2003 - Master's Award, Arts and Humanities Research Board (£16,055)


    My research centres on globalisation, knowledge and materiality, with a focus on labour, value and skill.

    I am interested in supervising students who wish to grapple with similar themes, in reference to the global movements of people, things and ideas.

    I would be especially interested in unpacking further flows that run from South to North, or from South to South, to understand better the epistemologies and trajectories that underpin tensions between locality and globality.

    Nasrin Soltani - "An exploratory study on the physical activity and dietary behaviours of Iranian immigrant and refugee women in the UK"

    Margaret Apwonyokwe - "A study of selected Acoli camps in Uganda: Victimhood and agency amidst forced displacement and a war-torn past"



    Programmes and Modules

    MSc Public Health

    • Global Health
    • Dissertation Supervision

    BSc Public Health/Health Promotion/Health Services Management

    • Global and Local Perspectives in Health
    • Dissertation Supervision