News_2023_Dr Kooiman's Book

This is old news in more ways than one: we are late in reporting that Assistant Professor Susan Kooiman published a book back in 2021. Ancient Pottery, Cuisine, and Society at the Northern Great Lakes explores changing subsistence and social relationships in the Northern Great Lakes from the perspective of food-processing technology and cooking. Dr. Kooiman examines precontact Indigenous pottery from the Cloudman site in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to investigate how pottery technology, pottery use, diet, and cooking habits change over time and how these changes relate to broader cultural phenomena.

Dr. K’s research shows that ceramic technology and cooking techniques evolved to facilitate new subsistence and processing needs. Her interpretations of past cuisine and culinary identities are supported by comparisons with ethnographic and ethnohistoric accounts of local Indigenous cooking and diet. The complementary nature of these diverse methods demonstrates a complex interplay of technology, environment, and social relationships, and underscores the potential of such analysis to better understanding archaeological societies worldwide.

This book is based on Dr. K’s dissertation, which won the Midwest Archaeological Conference’s dissertation award in 2019. In his review of her book, published in Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology, Sean Dunham writes that the book is innovative, engaging and well written, and finally, an overwhelming success. It’s no surprise that he highly recommends it, and so do we. Congratulations on your fine work, Dr. Kooiman!