Ph.D., Anthropology, State University of New York at Buffalo, NY.

M.A., Anthropology, State University of New York at Buffalo, NY

B.A., Anthropology, Minnesota State University Moorhead, MN.

Courses Taught

Archaeology: Lessons from the Past

Principles of Archaeology

Pots and People

Archaeological Lab Techniques

Anthropological Research in Museums

Public Archaeology in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Stuff: Anthropological Approaches to Material Culture

Familiaris Breeds Content: Dog and the Liberal Arts

Research Interests

North American Archaeology (Midwest)

Exchange Interaction

Ceramic Technology

Material Culture Studies


Stories Written on

Shannon M. Fie

Professor and Co-Chair of Anthropology

 Pronouns: she/her/hers or they/them/theirs  Email:  Phone: 608-363-2815  Schedule an Appointment  Office: Room 107, Godfrey Hall

I am professor of anthropology and teach courses in archaeology, material culture studies, and research design. I also offer courses in the Museum Studies program.

As an anthropological archaeologist, I use our understandings of human cultures and societies to make sense of the material patterns that people leave behind. These archaeological studies offer unique lessons for understanding many of the challenges we face today, including climate change, sustainability, identity, conflict, etc. 

Successfully studies of the past integrate knowledge from a variety of sources, including the analysis of artifacts and other archaeological materials, but also ethnographies, archival documents, human remains, oral histories, and studies of environmental resources and landform development. Accordingly, I urge students to take a broad range of courses in anthropology, as well as history, environmental studies, Classics, geology, etc. I also encourage students to consider the differing perspectives found in fine art, literature, economics, philosophy, etc.

My own research interests center on the use of exchange to create and maintain social relations among ancient indigenous communities of the Midwest. I am also interested in understanding the processes through which people produce, modify, engage with, and ascribe meaning to objects. Happily, the Logan Museum of Anthropology’s collections provide abundant opportunities to engage students in these and other topics through hands-on activities and individual research.

In addition to excavations in the Dakotas, Minnesota, New York, Illinois, and Wisconsin, I have also worked on archaeological sites in Mexico and, more recently, with students on St John (U.S. Virgin Islands) assisting the National Park Service investigate pre-contact and historic-period sites. Locally, much of my archaeological work focuses on the Native American burial mounds on campus. These ancient structures remain sacred to Native peoples and are legally protected from disturbance. As a Midwest archaeologist, I work with campus Facilities to protect these sacred structures. These efforts are furthered by Campus Mounds Sustainability and Advocacy Initiative (CMSAI) club whose members work to raise awareness about the mounds and other issues important to Native people.

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