Academic expression of Academic Excellence.

Emiliano Garcia Fisher, Life Reporter

Hamline students have a variety of ways to access their creative side and see it be published in one way or the other, and certain organizations like Fulcrum and Untold allow for students to let their creative nature be seen for all. 

However, oftentimes students do academic work, work that students will spend hours researching, writing and editing all just to be left in their Google Drive. This trend is something that many students notice, but are not able to do something about. The team for “H Sapiens” did.

The seed for anthropology students to be able to show off their hard work in classes would be planted in 2020 by Matt Sumera, an anthropology professor. Sumera initiated a hiring process for students who wanted to work on a journal, with the base concept being a collection of the academic work of Hamline students. 

The Oracle was able to interview two of the editors, Anna Schaeffer and Amanda Kanninen to see what the process was like, and what is to come. 

Anna Schaeffer and Amanda Kanninen, who are now senior anthropology students, were hired on by Sumera in 2020. When the project originally started they both were in their sophomore year. Both of them were editors and were practically given complete control. This was exactly as Sumera wanted. 

The duo were able to use Sumera for guidance and advice, but this project would end up being theirs. The end goal would be a collection of anthropological student work all put together in the “H Sapiensjournal. 

As Kanninen states in the “H Sapiens” editorial, “‘H Sapiens’ strives not only to give students a place to share their work but also to hold up to the standard of what it means to be an academic journal.” 

The team was able to succeed in this goal, but the process was one that had a lot of major bumps in the road.

COVID-19 Strikes

As the project started, so did COVID-19 shutdowns. The shutdowns brought a brief halt to its formation, but the team would continue to work on the journal throughout the shutdowns. 

Like all students, Schaeffer and Kanninen were spending a lot of time working on computers and staring at screens. Not just spending time on Zoom calls for school but editing projects, and talking to the students who submitted them. 

“I remember I was so exhausted and looking at my screen while doing work, homework and my social life,” Kanninen said. 

This trend of over exhaustion was something that many students go through, especially during that time. Through this exhaustion, the duo would continue to collect student work and collaborate with their contributors. Sumera was overlooking most of the submitted projects, and this would continue for months on end. 

The team was able to make the process academic in that way while including student’s passion projects. 

As these pieces were being collected, the duo would soon realize another problem: They did not know how to put together an academic journal.

Extracurricular learning

H Sapiens has turned out to be a wonderful inclusion for Hamline students. It showcases passionate work from Anthropology students in an exceptional way. Anyone can view their public website, any that do would guess that this would not be the first journal that the editors created. 

However, it was. 

“The closest thing I’ve ever done was peer reviewing papers in class,” Kanninen said.

 Neither of them had experienced building a website, screening papers, inserting mixed media into a website or any of the challenges that came up. But their spirits never dwindled throughout the two year process. 

Technical challenges arose with all the different website elements along with challenges with communication throughout COVID-19. All challenges during the process brought up different questions, the duo would use Sumeraas a resource and be able to go through a learning process together, asking him questions like “What exactly is a journal?’’ or “What do we want our journal to look like?”

The Final Project

“H Sapiens” first issue was recently published for all to see and learn. The journal shows off the academic prowess of multiple Hamline anthropologists, with topics ranging from music, art and the human voice in the digital age. 

Throughout the different writing, the reader can see just how much work was put into each piece along with the work from the editing team. 

Kanninen expressed how hard it was learning to import digital art, but the final product of “Kusozu Painting and Buddhist Ideals of Deathby Lilly Warner, was able to show numerous paintings to go along with Warner’s writing.

What’s Next?

After the long process of learning, editing and publishing, the duo have all the tools to be able to continue publishing “H Sapiens” and make it a staple for the students of Hamline Campus. 

 The one thing they do not have is the time with both of the duo being seniors and Kanninen graduating this semester. 

They both want to keep this project going. The goal according to Schaeffer is to do a semester release akin to Untold Magazine. Both Schaeffer and Kanninen want to bring on more people for editing and create a continuous project. 

The duo mentioned that there will most likely be announcements made both for editing positions along with a call for anthropology submissions which will most likely be seen on the Hamline Anthropology page on Instagram, and for now, everyone can enjoy the outstanding work done by Hamline students that “H Sapiens” has already published on their website,