Posted by: Brian | April 17, 2020

Excavating Hamline History – Doing Archaeology During a Pandemic

Can we do archaeology during a pandemic? Can we work “in the field” as a team while maintaining social distancing? How do we do lab work where we normally sit four to a table? How do we collaborate on research and share our results with the Hamline community if we are all isolated? I have a lot of questions about next fall’s ANTH 3130: Excavating Hamline History class. Like most of you, I am staying at home to do my part to “bend the curve” and pondering about what is coming under the “new normal”. 

I don’t have answers, but I do have a lot of ideas. I have been doing archaeology fieldwork for over 35 years now. One thing I have learned is that no project ever goes according to plan. Weather is unpredictable, rivers flood, equipment breaks, vehicles get stuck, and now – pandemics happen. In archaeology, as in almost everything in life, you must be prepared to adapt. So if you ask me, can we do archaeology during a pandemic my answer is “Yes. We’ll just have to adapt”.

Profiling our excavation in a snowstorm was not my plan (Kenzie measuring and Rikka recording on 11/22/2016)

I first taught “Excavating Hamline History” in the fall of 2004 as part Hamline University’s 150th anniversary. I have continued to teach the course just about every other year since. The prior classes have had a similar progression. We start in the field, digging at sites on and off campus, thus taking advantage of Minnesota’s typically beautiful September weather. By mid-October we begin transitioning into the lab – where students process the finds we’ve made. It always takes a while to finish our excavations, so some students continue working outdoors even under worsening conditions. Ideally everyone is working indoors on projects by Thanksgiving. We then end the class with each student, or team of students, presenting the results of their interdisciplinary contribution.

I don’t know yet how this year’s class will be different. I suspect that we’ll utilize technology in new ways. We’ll also shift people around more – making sure that we can keep our distance. And we’ll have more stringent cleaning protocols. Archaeologists are considered essential workers under Minnesota’s stay at home order. So there are archaeologists right now working in the field and labs, although with adjusted practices and expectations. So yeah, one way or another, we can do this.

The site we will be investigating is just east of Bush Library near what used to be the corner of Hewitt and Simpson Avenue. We call this site, the 830 Simpson Site for the street address of a house that used to be there. This house was built sometime around 1883. It was a family home for a number of decades, with Hamline students and other borders also a part of the household. Hamline University purchased the home around 1917 and converted it to an auxiliary dorm for women students (so right around the time the last major pandemic hit the world). The house was moved in 1945 and the University President’s house moved on to the 830 Simpson lot. We are not excavating the house site itself, but instead digging in what was the backyard. We are finding evidence of sheds and other buildings, along with a lot of domestic refuse.

The class is a part of the Hamline Village History Project. The goals of this project are part research and part community archaeology/public history. The research covers a range of topics and utilizes data from archaeology, oral history, and archives. We’ve looked at questions about the evolution of “yards” in the American landscape, early 20th Century feminist movements, and consumerism during World War 2. This year I’m thinking of investigating pandemics – both the current one and also the 1918 Spanish Flu.

Community archaeology refers to projects that are community driven and provide benefit to the people living in and around the area. In the past, this class has offered open digs when people from the neighborhood can join us. We also have worked with Hamline Elementary students, teaching them about archaeology, artifacts, and worms. Obviously we will not be able to do the same activities as we’ve done in the past, but I am committed to keeping community service as a course outcome. You can read more about the Hamline Village History Project and the class by reading some of my earlier blog posts.

Students interested in getting “instructor’s permission” to register for my Fall 2020 class need to add a comment on this blog post. (See previous student comments on these blog posts for ideas.) Your comment should include a little about your background (major, year, interests, skills), why you would like to take this class, and what ideas you have for contributing to the project goals. I’m looking for a mix of disciplines and skill sets in keeping with the interdisciplinary and collaborative aspects of the class. Most important, to me, is finding students that are enthusiastic, ready to work hard, and able to adapt to whatever non-traditional educational experience that this fall brings us.


Responses

  1. Hello! My name is Eva Larson and I will be a junior at Hamline this fall. I am a double major in Anthropology and Criminology/Criminal Justice, with a minor in Forensic Science. I have been interested in forensic anthropology for many years, with a recent interest in bioarchaeology. I am enthralled with what human skeletal remains are able to tell us about the past. Of course, sites with skeletal remains often contain additional remnants of other aspects of previous life. I find these context clues just as interesting to interpret! Aside from academic interests, I am also passionate about music, photography, and special effects makeup. This may seem like an odd combination of skills, but they seem to come in handy when I least expect them to!

    This past fall I was able to take two archaeology classes with Professor Hoffman: Lab Techniques in Archaeology and Interpreting Archaeology. I learned the basics of lab work in these courses, including how to wash and sort artifacts, examine raw materials, collect data, and catalog and label the artifacts. Further, I am currently doing a Museum Collections Management internship with Professor Hoffman and a few of my peers, where we are learning about issues in ethics and proper care of collections after excavation. I would love to have the chance to learn more about excavation processes through this course!

    While I am not (yet) trained in archaeological fieldwork, I have a dense background in agricultural fieldwork, having worked for a seed research and development company for 6 years. I was responsible for leading crews, taking extensive field notes, and verifying large-scale seed inventory. From this experience, I have gained strong skills in leadership, teamwork, organization, and attention to detail. All that being said, I am a hard worker who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty! Rain or shine (or snow), I am prepared to get the work done in a variety of conditions – global pandemics included!

    Through these previous courses, my internship, and my prior fieldwork experience, I have learned SO much. I would love to apply these skills to Excavating Hamline History in the fall! I believe I have a lot of skills to offer, and I am looking forward to working with an interdisciplinary group. It will be interesting to see what we are all able to contribute while working to understand Hamline’s history. Overall, I am looking forward to this great opportunity to not only broaden my archaeological skills but to also expand my knowledge of other disciplines with the help of my peers. Moreover, we will have the chance to work together to explore new ways of conducting field and lab work under the influence of this pandemic – and I can’t wait to see what new methods we can come up with!

  2. Hi, my name is Henry Dolan. I am interested in taking your excavating Hamline class next semester. I will be a second year, possibly majoring in history and am also planning to take intro to anthropology in the fall too.

    This class seems like something that I’d have a lot of fun doing. I like history, but I prefer being active and doing hands on activities. I was brought in a home where it seemed like everybody was interested in history. My mom worked a Fort Snelling when I was younger, and my sister volunteered at Old Sturbridge Village.

    If I got into this class I would be able to help pick up heavy things and do some manual labor. I also have experience with computers and enjoy wood working and art. An idea for a project that I could do would be designing and building a plaque that describes why this place is important to local history.

  3. Hi, My name is Aaron Lachhman. I am interested in taking this class. My major is anthropology and my minor is in chemistry. I feel like this class would excel my learning in anthropology. I am also interested in the history around Hamline, and discovering things we would not think to find.

    I am already interested in anthropology, so this class would be great for me as I have taken classes that have done with excavating in highschool. I also am curious on what we will find on the Hamline area.

  4. Hello, My name is Hannah Bergene and I will be a junior this approaching semester Fall 2020. I am a major in Anthropology with a minor in Music. I have been interested in anthropology and archaeology since my freshman year in high school and I have had increasing interests in history and bioarchaeology. I have always been interested in the past and about what objects can tell us about how people lived their daily life. I also find it interesting and exciting to be able to explain the past and to discover something that hasn’t been seen or touched by another person since it was buried. Examining remains, artifacts, and other cultures within their context is what makes anthropology exciting for me. It’s a great learning experience and helps me to understand more of the world around me through what we discover about the past.
    Since being at Hamline, I have attended a couple of anthropology classes to increase my knowledge in archaeology. Last semester (Fall 2019), I took Topics in Archaeology and Lab Techniques in Archaeology with Professor Hoffman. In these courses, I learned basic methods of examination such as washing and sorting, cataloging, labeling, and how to collect data from different artifacts. Other than the courses I have been in, I am also in a Museum Collections Management internship with Professor Hoffman and other peers where we learn about issues in museum collections and the morals, ethics, and legalities involved with them. I was also part of Professor Hoffman’s Summer Field School last summer (2019) where I learned more about basic methods in archaeology and I was able to gain experience digging in the field with other peers for actual research.
    I would love the opportunity to work “in the field” again to dig and to further practice my knowledge of archaeological methods. I am a hard, organized worker and I don’t mind working in harsher or unusual conditions (pandemic included)! I know how to take field notes, work with a team, and I enjoy working in the dirt. Because of the courses I’ve taken, my fieldwork experience, knowledge of archaeological methods, and my interest in the field, I believe I can be a good asset to the class. I would really like the opportunity to apply my knowledge and skills to help both myself and other students to learn more about archaeological methods and techniques. I also want the opportunity to learn from my peers and to expand my knowledge of how archaeology is done. I’m looking forward to see how this course will take place due to the pandemic and I look forward to see how we adapt to these changes. It will be a new adventure for all of us!

  5. My name is Annie Nelson and I will be a senior this fall majoring in Environmental Studies and Anthropology. I am very interested in the relationship between humans and our environment, and how that relationship has changed over time. I had originally intended to only minor in Anthropology, but after realizing how interconnected it is with Environmental Studies, I decided to double major. Through my Environmental Studies classes, I have been able to take part in several community-based projects and qualitative, community-based participatory research. I have worked with Professor Cadieux on projects with Feed Your Brain, on-campus gardens, investigating campus waste-flows, and improving campus sustainability awareness. When conducting community-based participatory research with Feed Your Brian, our Environmental Studies class worked with Public Health, English, and Digital Media Arts classes to incorporate many different perspectives and skillsets into our project. These experiences have allowed me to be more involved in the Hamline community and I have learned a lot about how to conduct research with communities that involves collaboration and interdisciplinary work.

    Along with the work I have done through Environmental Studies classes at Hamline, I have also worked in several jobs that have given me experience with fieldwork and public education. In 2018, I worked as a Naturalist at Interstate State Park where I created and led educational programs for visitors to the park. The public communication skills that I gained from this experience will be helpful when we are presenting our work and working with community members such as students from Hamline elementary if we have the opportunity to do this. I have also conducted outdoor fieldwork researching mussels on the St. Croix River and done lab work with bats collecting data about the white-nose fungus. This summer I will be a student researcher at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve working on a community ecology plant research project. Through these experiences, I have adapted to working outdoors for long periods of time, learned to accurately collect data from a variety of sources, and greatly enhanced my skills in teamwork, observation, organization, and communication.

    I would like to take this class because Archaeology has always been an area of interest to me, and after taking Professor Hoffman’s Interpreting Archaeology class last semester, I wanted to be involved in archaeological fieldwork even more. I think that this project presents an excellent opportunity for me to further investigate the changing relationship between humans and their environment, something that I will be working on even beyond college. The insights we can gain from how people lived and interacted in the past can help us to understand how humans adapt to change and influence the ways that we adapt to change in the future. This intersection between my fields is one that I think is extremely important and often overlooked. Working collaboratively with students from other disciplines and community members will also expand my understanding of the research and expose me to new ways of thinking, something that I am always enthusiastic about. I think that my background in both Archaeology and Environmental Studies will give me a beneficial perspective and enhance the interdisciplinary nature of the work being done when combined with the experiences and knowledge of other students.

    After being isolated for so long, I am more enthusiastic than ever to participate in a collaborative project, and I am eager to adapt to whatever changes this pandemic may bring to the way we conduct research. Having to adjust to learning in an even more non-traditional way than this class usually is conducted will be an educational experience in itself, and will increase our ability to be flexible and open to change. I am very excited about this opportunity, and hope to be a part of this project in the fall!

  6. Hello! My name is Delaney Grundhauser and I am a senior this upcoming fall. I am majoring in Anthropology with a very big interest in archaeology. My first experience with hands-on archaeology was Professor Hoffman’s garbology class during my first year, which led to his field school that following summer term. I absolutely fell in love with relating flake, and rock fragments with the peoples that inhabited our land 5000+ years ago. Being able to retrace day to day activities and lifestyle choices of the people before us through one little artifact is so meaningful.

    Besides my interests lying in archaeology- I also enjoy hiking and am a competitive Irish dancer!

    In all of the courses I have taken from Brian over the last few years, my interest in the analysis of artifacts has been growing exponentially. I love learning about the past and stories that can be told from what we find from the past. Taking Excavating Hamline History, we are going to be able to tell stories from our own schools past- which I find so exciting. I am also excited to do some work in community archaeology and show the Hamline-Midway community what we do. Excavating Hamline History will be different from the other courses I’ve taken because of how it integrates our own schools’ past with lab techniques on the grounds of where we’re finding the artifacts. Which I find fascinating! I think my contribution to the class would have to do with my 3 years of lab work in our archaeology lab, a semsters worth of experimental research with Professor Hoffman, and The 2018 Field School and Lab Techniques courses. I have learned so much from this program and Professor Hoffman, it would be amazing to take this course as one of my final courses at Hamline.

  7. My name is Sarena Sabyan. I am a third year. My major is Anthropology but I have strong interests in forensic and archaeology. I have taken your previous class lab techniques in archaeology and I would love the opportunity to get hands on experience excavating. I’m easy to work / get along with and I’m very open to trying and doing new things. I may not be the smartest but I am very dedicated.

    I was actually going to attend a field school this summer but that didn’t work out for obvious reasons.

  8. Hello, my name is Emily McKenzie. I will be a second-year student this fall. My majors are Anthropology and Studio Arts, with a minor in Forensic Science. Depending on my scheduling, I may triple major with Criminology or get another minor. In my perspective, anthropology and studio art have similar characteristics as they make you think outside the norm. An example is looking at an object understanding the history, purpose, and emotions.
    I grew up moving to nine different schools, ten different houses, and lived in three different states. It has been just my mom and I for the past ten years since my four older brothers moved out of the house. The last few times that mom and I had moved, we had to pack all our belonging less than 24 hours. We could not waste time procrastinating and could not allow any wasted space in the truck.
    One constant through all our upheaval, our destressing activity was to go into the woods. There my mother taught and gave me the teachings of gathering medicinal herbs, mushrooms, and other resources. On walks, people left behind their possessions. Instead of neglecting the items, I would collect the items. To make sure the material was recycled or adequately disposed of rather than left in the woods.
    Through my previous jobs, I was willing to get my hands dirty. The first job we dealt with and worked in a storage building that contained bat and rats feces. There was so much dirt it got into my nose from breathing. During this job, we helped a vendor process shoes for the flea market to sell.

    I’ve learned to adapt to different people, places, environments and also to work hard. I could create more examples of how I will be beneficial to this class, but in applying what I’ve learned and still learning are many skills now and to come. With archaeology as my main focus, this class excites me in the exploration of Hamline history.

  9. Hi! My name is Carmina Singleton. I am a Communication Studies major and a Transfer New Student Mentor going into my senior year here at Hamline. Some of my interests include analysis of artifacts, photography, writing, and meditation. I would like to take this class because I need an N credit to graduation but most of all, I think anthropology is so captivating. Something has always drawn me to the idea of human existence and its impact on nature. Moreover, being able to work hands-on is always something I am down for, especially when teamwork is involved. I transferred to Hamline Spring 2018 and since being here, I have noticed how much history is on this campus. I would love to be a part of exploring a more deeper-rooted history hidden below the surface of this campus.
    I think my ability to analyze artifacts and find a deeper meaning to a piece of work is something that could positively contribute to the overall goal for the class. Not only that but I am outspoken and willing to take part in discussions about fascinating subjects. I really appreciate your goal in finding students from many different backgrounds because it will not only contribute to colorful discussions but it will also provide for wonderfully different interpretations of different scenarios.
    When I was very young, I attended a charter school based on diversity and outdoor learning. My school was in the woods and as students, we were always coming face-to-face with the natural order of the earth. I think my connection to nature and my understanding of the history soil holds would come in handy in terms of untraditional learning, as it is something I am wildly familiar with. Moreover, the ability to adapt to any given situation is something I am very familiar with. I transferred from St. Catherine University to Hamline University in a span of four days. That means I was forced to act proficiently and swiftly in making the most logical decisions. My experience in life up until this point has prepared me for taking part in courses I am passionate about while also being able to adapt to the unknown.

  10. Hello, my name is Tommy Fickett. I am very interested in taking this class for a number of reasons. The first reason is that I want the experience of studying a societies culture and its development. I want this experience because I plan to major in Criminal Justice and be a police officer. Having this experience while being a police officer will benefit me with the ability to understand societies and cultures in a effective way. The second reason is that this class presents the opportunity to be outside for part of the time, instead of always being in a lecture hall. In high school I spent a lot of time outside, so switching to being inside a lecture hall all the time is different, this class would relive that discomfort. The third reason for my interest in this class is that I feel that it will advance my passion in the criminal justice system because I will know how to study a society and culture. Finally what can I bring to the team? I worked landscaping during my entire high school career, having this experience I can offer the team insight on excavating. I can also offer great leadership and collaborative skills. Overall this class would be the perfect fit in my schedule right now, it would also offer me a substantial amount of insight and skills with anthropology and finally it would be great to get some fresh air while learning!
    Thanks for reading!

  11. Hello all! My name is Bri Fodstad and I’m going to be a Junior in the Fall! I am working on a double major in History and Religion with a minor in Women’s Studies. I have always been interested in the more scientific part of Historical research and excavation, and spend most of my free time watching The Naked Archaeologist with Simcha Jacobovici and Avri Gilad. I think this class would be a perfect fit for all my interests and would also help bring to light newfound ones as well. I can be of the most help when it comes to researching, writing, and conceptualizing new ideas and finds.

    Hands-on work is what excites me the most about this class, traditional tables and chairs isn’t really my speed when it comes to how I learn and engage best. The first time I remember being at Hamline was actually when I was only four years old for the 150th Anniversary where I posed for a classic picture in front of Old Main (what a small world seeing how you started this class at that time). My main interest in Hamline history stems from my grandmother, who went to Hamline back when we still had a Nursing School. She has always told me stories and intriguing things about how Hamline and the landscape has changed over the generations. It is always crazy to think about how she experienced such a different Hamline than me, but we still agree that Manor Hall’s creepy vibes…

    My main work in History has always been in the library, archives, and doing independent research so I am beyond ready (and interested) in having the opportunity to be doing the work on the ground and really getting to be apart of what makes History so important and exciting. I’ve taken an Environmental History course that I feel really introduced me to the more scientific aspect of History. Science may not be my strongest asset but I am ready to work with the team of students using all our different skills to break ground on new research and archaeological finds.

  12. Hello, my name is Sarah Ziskin and this upcoming fall semester I will be a junior. I am in the process of declaring an anthropology major, and I am minoring in French through Macalester college. I took Interpreting Archaeology last semester, so I would like to think that I have a basic understanding of how archaeologists work, and the benefit that archaeology brings to the world. My interest in anthropology stems from my greater interest in learning about how humans evolved to get to where they are now. I am most fascinated in the biological evolution from apes to humans, although a huge part of how humans evolved is our culture. I enjoy and thrive with hands on learning which is what drew me to archaeology.
    I am working on determining which specific field of anthropology I am most interested in, which is a large part of why I want to take this class. I do not have any field work experience, but it has always seemed like something I would enjoy and be heavily involved in and enthusiastic about. I am currently in Professor Regan’s Bioarchaeology class and this class has given me a lot of insight as to the field that I would like to go into. What attracted me to this class was not only a desire for field experience, but also a desire to learn more about the history of a place where I am spending a significant part of my life. I have taken a dew history courses at Hamline as I love learning about history, but they were focused on other countries, and the more learn about the rest of the world, the more I realize that I do not know much, if anything, about the place that I spend most of my time. This class combined my two interests, which is a very exciting prospect.
    Last year I took a class that focused on the Black Death and the effect that it had on Europe, I will also be taking Infectious Diseases next semester. Both of these classes will give me a decent background on diseases which is serendipitous considering the focus on pandemics in this excavation. I am a fairly methodical person, I work thoroughly and carefully, which I imagine may come in handy for excavating. I am really excited about the prospect of working in the field, and although I do not have excavation experience, I am willing to learn anything that will make me a more productive and valuable team member.

  13. My name is Kayla Malmgren. I am going into my fourth year at Hamline and will be graduating in December. I am majoring in anthropology and minoring in both photography and forensic science. My favorite fields of anthropology are split between archaeology and physical anthropology.

    In the summer of 2019, I spent 4 weeks in Romania working on the archaeological site, Halmyris. I learned about excavation techniques, seeing contexts, and other things of that nature. I have also taken archaeology techniques and other more hands on anthropology classes.

    I think that this years excavation will be incredibly intriguing due to the nature of this year thus far. Comparing the 1918 flu with COVID-19 is sure to bring up some interesting parallels. This excavation will also be unique in regard to social distancing and hygiene. When you are in a 1mx1m hole, there is not necessarily a lot of space to stand apart. I think that will make for a really interesting excavation.

    Not only do I find the context of now fascinating, I also think the history we are excavating with be exceptionally cool. I always found it difficult to see archaeology in the city. It tends to seem more like a rural activity, so I am excited to see what will be uncovered right in our own backyard.

  14. Hello, my name is Asha Salah and this fall, I will be going into my 3rd year at Hamline. I am an anthropology major with a minor in linguistics. I think my skills and interest in linguistics will be an addition to this course, although I’m not sure how it will tie into it, perhaps in the analysis/interpretation component of the class. I have not taken an archeology centered course before and I am really interested in doing so, especially the excavating Hamline History course as it ties into archeology in the Hamline neighborhood.

    I am familiar with the Hamline Village History Project because of a project I completed in Museum Anthropology, which gave me insight into the purpose and role of archeology and the HVHP in the Hamline community. I learned about community archeology and the history of Hamline University from an outsider perspective and I look forward to learning more in this class from an insider perspective; to be participating and doing the fieldwork myself.

    I’m interested to see how the pandemic will affect this course, particularly shifting focus to the Spanish flu pandemic and the current one. I wonder what we will find/learn and what that can tell us about those living in the Hamline community at the time.

  15. Hi my name is Andrea Sevilla-Zamora majoring in criminal justice and this is my senior year. My interest is learning about others and how we can work together. I find this type of course interesting as I have never taken a course like this. This will be interesting for me. I’m also passionate about learning how I can be involved in my community and helping others. As my future job will consist with working with other cultures and communities. I would like to take this course to learn more about it and see what kinds of things I can use from learning to use it in my field.

  16. I am Vlad Bowen, one of the anthropology majors and i’m just reaching my senior year. I’ve had a strong interest in archeology and artifact study since my first semester at Hamline though I (with the help of my advisor) thought it would be best to branch into other forms of anthropology before making a firm decision. This ended up helping my interest in archeology more than I first thought with my classes allowing me to really focus on how cultures are structured and change over time including my own from my time in Egypt.

    In terms of what I can bring to the table I did take the environmental forensics course with Tennessen so I have some background in soil, pollen, and macrofossil analysis along with my high school experience working with environmental science for 2 years. Working in a backyard dosen’t leave much room for the larger scale skills I practiced in that class but I am confident these skills will assist in the understanding of the area of the dig.

    I’m particularly interested in how this dig will be changed with the quarantine and living with a nurse (mother) gives me some extra insight on how to handle keeping areas safe and clean so I am sure I can help with that as well.

  17. Hello! My name is Cecelia Miller, and I’m a rising junior double majoring in Finance and Analytics.
    I may not be majoring in history or anthropology, but I have a family that has, and they have always put a big emphasis on learning as much as I can about it. Since I was a child, I have been a frequent of many museums and historical sites, usually with my dad, who graduated with a degree in history from the U of MN. Along with my family, I enjoy learning about how things once were, and the different stories behind what was once everyday objects, ideas, and places.
    As a business major, I would be able to help with the communication and marketing aspect of this project more than anything. I am also very excited about this class, so I’m willing to help with everything as long as someone is willing to teach me about it.
    For me getting the science with lab credit was daunting as I thought I was going to have to take a chemistry or biology class (which is not where my talents or interests lie). When I found this course, I was excited because it seemed like the perfect course to get to know more about Hamline, connect with the community, and fulfill my Hamline plan in a way that is interesting and exciting.
    I’m very excited about the fall semester and am interested to see what will happen with the course due to COVID. I think this will definitely be a once in a lifetime class experience for me and am ready to dive in.

  18. Hello! My name is Kaia and I am a Psychology Major with minors in Business Practice and Chinese. I have to be honest and say that I’ve been dreading the N1 requirement of the Hamline Plan, but this course really struck my eye as something different and something that I would really enjoy learning about. I am super excited to be the Student Body President this academic year and feel that learning more about some of Hamline’s history would pair really well with that position. I think that this time of pandemic and social change will provide a really interesting lens to look through during this course especially with the site already having some experience with another pandemic. I think that my background of coursework in three different departments (business, psychology, and world languages) will add a different perspective to this work. I am very detail oriented, driven, and love a good discussion- especially if it brings about some productive change! I am really excited to see what this course could look like during these unpredictable times.

  19. Hi! My name is Leah Mair and I am going to be a senior at Hamline this fall. I am majoring in Social Justice and Legal Studies, and I intend to go to graduate school to get my Master’s in history. I would like to go into the field of historical repatriations after graduate school.

    I want to take this class so I can understand excavation and archaeological processes, an understanding of which will be crucial to my career in repatriations. Learning archaeological procedures and about the ethics surrounding them will provide me with necessary experience to achieve my goals.

    I have many skills in data entry and analysis (I work part-time as a researcher for the Development Office at Hamline) and I would love to get a better handle on field work, though I genuinely enjoy research and analyzing data as well. I have spent the past few months getting used to the ‘new normal’ by starting a new job (and returning home from Northern Ireland after my study abroad program was abruptly canceled!) I am excited for the possibility of using my skills in research and analysis, learning new skills that will help me in my future career, and learning more about the history of the Hamline community!

  20. Hello! My name is Emma Harrington and I will be a junior at Hamline next fall. After one of my classes was cancelled, Excavating Hamline History sparked my interest. I have been always been fascinated by history and artifacts throughout childhood, so I would be eager to learn more about the details of archeology.

    I believe my areas of study–– an English major with a creative writing focus, as well as minors in nonprofit management and gender and women’s studies–– would intersect in an interesting way during this course. I feel that it would give me the opportunity to contribute an interdisciplinary perspective. English and creative writing would help me to investigate literature and texts about Hamline’s history. Additionally, my gender and women’s studies minor would allow for interesting discussion about feminist theories in this context. I would be excited to explore pandemics as well, as it would expand my knowledge and be different than something I would normally explore!

    I have tutored at Hamline Elementary since freshman year in kindergarten, first, second, and fourth grade classrooms. I know a lot of the students at that school and would love to interact with them through this class as well. I am passionate about community service. This summer, I am a Summer Reads Vista through Literacy MN, serving at a site close by. I find that I am exploring more and more about the Hamline neighborhood with every opportunity. I’m now a resident of the neighborhood in a house near to Hamline, which has sparked more interest to learn about the community. I would be so grateful to explore and learn more throughout this class, as well as contribute to the community and grow in the discussions we have. If given the opportunity to take this class, I am excited to expand my knowledge while drawing on my other areas of study to create a well-rounded learning experience.


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