Fellow of SAA: Rebecca Hankins

Rebecca Hankins, associate professor and archivist/curator/librarian of Africana Studies at Texas A&M University, will be inducted as a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) during a ceremony at the Joint Annual Meeting of SAA and the Council of State Archivists in Atlanta, July 31–August 6. The distinction of Fellow is the highest honor bestowed on individuals by SAA and is awarded for outstanding contributions to the archives profession.

Hankins has dedicated her scholarly and archival career to the preservation and documentation of America’s marginalized citizens whose legacies are underrepresented in the holdings of archives and special collections. Her numerous scholarly publications and presentations are emblematic of her determination to document overlooked individuals and include Where are all the Librarians of Color? The Experiences of People of Color in Academia (2016), “The Case for Fictional Islam” in Critical Muslim (2015), “Hamza Walker” in African American National Biography (2015), "Art in Special Collections: Latino and African American Fine Art and Photography in Academic Institutions" in Art Documentation (2010), and “Influence of Muslims and Islam in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Comics” in Muslims and American Popular Culture (2014).

Hankins’s service over the years to SAA has consistently reflected her devotion to the diversification of both the country’s archival record as well as the broader national archives profession.  As an elected member of the Council, as liaison to the Publications Board, as chair of the Archivists and Archives of Color Roundtable, and as newsletter editor of the Oral History Section, Hankins has provided a gentle and steadfast voice of tolerance for different social and cultural points of view. 

Her nominators uniformly stated that anyone who has been fortunate enough to work with her knows that she brings an expansive life experience to national and international discussions relating to the preservation and documentation of the unsung stories of overlooked cultural communities. As one of her supporters noted, “Rebecca has woven a career in which she fills in the missing squares with a scholarly record that analyzes the literary and visual narratives of race, gender, religion, and subculture to develop a more inclusive tapestry” to preserve the divergent narratives of America’s unrepresented communities.