Hello again! My name is Autumn (Beyer) Painter and I am a fifth year Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology. This is my third year participating as a CHI fellow; I was a fellow from 2015-2016 and 2016-2017. I am also the current Campus Archaeologist for Michigan State University.
My dissertation research focuses on the roles that animal exploitation plays in the broader process of coalescence, specifically looking at identity, social interaction, and community building through a broad theoretical framework of foodways. My research uses faunal remains (animal bones) recovered from Morton Village, a late prehistoric occupation site (A.D. 1300 to 1400) located in the central Illinois River valley in west-central Illinois.
My first CHI project was co-created with Nikki Silva involving our dissertation research site. The project, Mapping Morton Village, makes a portion of the Morton Village Archaeological Project available to the public as a digital cultural map of the site. This map is thematic, focusing on various types of information about archaeological methods and research using the Morton site as a case study.
My second CHI project, Capturing Campus Cuisine, showcases a research project co-created by myself and Susan Kooiman during our 2016-2017 MSU Campus Archaeology Fellowship. This project used food remains excavated from a historic privy at Michigan State University (MSU) to explore and recreate the food environment of the campus during its Early Period (1855-1870). Archaeological analysis and archival research were used together to investigate historic foodways on campus. The final product includes an interactive atlas of MSU foodways, where visitors can learn about specific areas on campus that are related to production, acquisition, processing, consumption, and food education.