Susan Kooiman
Assistant Professor, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, Department of Anthropology
Knowledge / Expertise
Interest/Specialty Areas My archaeological research interests focus on foodways, pottery, and the precontact Indigenous peoples of North America, and so it follows that my teaching interests are rooted in the same passions. I love both introducing students to the basic concepts of anthropology and archaeology and taking them deeper into the topics of North American prehistory, diet, and technology. As a proponent of experiential learning, I also enjoy teaching laboratory and field methods.

I grew up as the youngest of six kids on a dairy farm in western Wisconsin. A first-generation college student, I attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I graduated with B.A.s in anthropology and history. I then worked in cultural resource management for the Wisconsin Historical Society Museum Archaeology Program for two-and-a-half years. I got an M.S. in Archaeology from Illinois State University, where my thesis focused on pottery function in the Upper Great Lakes during the Woodland period. After working in CRM for another year after graduation, I (somewhat begrudgingly) realized that academia was my true calling. I received my Ph.D. in anthropology from Michigan State University in 2018, where I studied Woodland culinary and technological change in the Upper Great Lakes. During my doctoral program, I also became involved with the MSU Campus Archaeology Program, where my interest in public archaeology emerged, particularly in the form of food-based outreach.

My journey at SIUE began in Fall 2019 and I am thrilled to be a part of the SIUE Anthropology team and to work closely with students from varying backgrounds. It is a joy to work at a university located in an archaeologically-rich area in the Midwest, which allows me to both continue working in the Upper Great Lakes and explore new local research questions and opportunities here in Illinois.

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