Fellows' Ernst Posner Award: Kit Hughes

Kit Hughes, soon-to-be assistant professor of media, journalism, and film at Miami University, is the 2015 recipient of the Fellows’ Ernst Posner Award. Established in 1982, the award recognizes an outstanding essay dealing with some facet of archival administration, history, theory, and/or methodology that was published during the preceding year in SAA’s journal, The American Archivist.

Hughes, who earned her PhD in media and cultural studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, was honored for her article “Appraisal as Cartography: Cultural Studies in the Archives,” which appeared in the Spring/Summer 2014 issue of The American Archivist (vol. 77, no. 1).

In her article, Hughes examines the practice of appraisal, which, as she writes, “controls the flow of materials that can be used by people to construct cultural identities.” Hughes compares archival appraisal theory with a cultural studies model of appraisal to arrive at “new ways of considering methods of documenting culture.” Hughes’s model encourages archivists to broaden their view of stakeholders, media, and the role of archives in modern culture and society, leading to the laudable goal of achieving a more inclusive documentary record.

The Award Committee noted that the article provides a “refreshing and innovative view of appraisal theory and methodology.”

The award is named for Ernst Posner, an SAA Fellow and former president as well as a distinguished author.