Apr 21st, 2018, 11:29 AM

Hibou Swoops onto AUP's Magazine Scene

By Gabriel Green
An interview with Isabel Seigel on the History, Law and Society department's new academic journal that strives to provide accountability, democracy, and intellectualism.

Adding to AUP's growing repertoire of student publications, Hibou online magazine will soon serve as the History, Law and Society's new academic journal. Spearheaded by editor in chief Isabel Seigel, along with deputy editors Seth Jackson and Sara Moskowitz, the publication began simply as an assignment for one of the editorial team's classes.  "This started as a final project for Michelle Quo’s Education, Citizenship and Freedom class and she really wanted students to have more writing experience in a journalistic setting," said Seigel.

The founding members explain that the journal will cover a wide range of topics and employs a democratic process of selecting and editing submissions. "Our positions as editors are more organizational than telling people what to write. That’s one of the things we wanted to grapple with in this magazine, allowing students a place to bring up issues that they see with the university and praises that they have for the university," said Jackson. 

This democratic style stems from the editorial team's goal of promoting the growth of contributors. "This is really just to help students develop as writers. We’re having a peer editing event helping people work on their writing and really develop it, rather than us editing it and just publishing something that the writer hasn't seen," said Seigel. 

A fundamental goal of the publication, the editorial team asserts, is to hold the university to account, while providing an intellectual standard for the AUP community. "I think the main goal is just to have more accountability for AUP, but also for the level of intellectualism at AUP. We think that having diverse journalistic outlets is really good for student development," said Seigel. 

The foundation for Hibou was initially drawn from one of AUP's successful former student publications, The Planet. "The Planet is kind of the legacy that we’re following up on that was around for such a long time and was amazing. They really did a really good job of holding AUP accountable," said Seigel.

Set to launch on May 4, Hibou's inaugural issue will focus on the theme "discourses in education" and has received contributions from around 18 students. "We’ve got one writer talking about the history of publications at AUP, which is actually a much richer history than I realized, so that’s really exciting. We’ve got people talking about current issues. One is about healthcare in prisons, Seth is writing about masculinity at AUP, and we’ve got some people talking about radicalized identity. I’ve got an advice column and we have one on ethical, feminist tourism. So we’ve got a mix," said Seigel.

While the team is setting their immediate attention on the launch of their website, they do have some thoughts concerning the publication's future. "At this stage, we just want to build a strong standard and produce quality work. But then I think there is a lot of frustration about (AUP) being a really diverse and complex place. So I think we would like to see more support for students in that vein and just have an open forum for what students feel like they need," said Seigel. "We’re also planning to have stands set up in all the buildings, Senate allowing, with individual articles printed so you can read headlines on the stand and take articles, then for more [readers can] go to HibouMagazine.com. That way we end up costing a lot less than the other student publications."

Although their first issue is not yet in circulation, the team is already deliberating on their next theme. "I really want to do 'creativity at AUP' next semester. We haven’t actually talked about that. So, you heard it here first," said Seigel.  

Hibou will host a launch party for its website on May 4 at 6 p.m. in PL-3. The publication can also be found on Facebook. "And if anyone wants to send a submission to us, our email is Hibou@AUP.edu," said Jackson. "We’re just excited to be doing this and to hold the school accountable."