AIA News

May 18, 2022

2022 Graduate Student Paper Award Winners Announced

The Graduate Student Paper Award winners from the 2022 Annual Meeting have been chosen. This year, there are two winners for First Prize – Amanda Chen and Cristina M. Hernández. They will be honored at the Awards Ceremony in conjunction with the 2023 Annual Meeting.

Amanda Chen

The Archaeological Institute of America is pleased to bestow Amanda Chen from the University of Maryland, College Park, with one of two first prizes for the 2022 Graduate Student Paper Award delivered at the 123rd Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America (held virtually from January 5-8, 2022). The paper was entitled “Negotiating Boundaries: Image and Ritual at the Complesso dei Riti Magici [II.1.12] in Pompeii.” The author explored a less commonly treated building in the city to construct an original and compelling argument about the use of images to delineate ritual space in this complex structure. Ms. Chen integrated art historical and archaeological evidence to interrogate the decorative program’s visual experience for the ancient viewer and to demonstrate the interplay between image, space, and religious ritual. By synthesizing analysis of the external wall paintings with finds from inside the building, consideration of the building’s function, and its particular location within the urban fabric, the paper presented a model for others to follow. The poised and professional presentation of this paper, together with the superb illustrations presented to support her argument, were a highlight of the 2022 Annual Meeting.

About Amanda Chen
Amanda just completed her PhD at the University of Maryland and will be starting at the Kansas City Art Institute in the fall as Assistant Professor of Roman Art and Archaeology. She is originally from Los Angeles and received her BA from UCLA. She is an area supervisor on two archaeological projects in central Italy (the Coriglia Excavation Project and Villa del Vergigno Archaeological Project), and has worked in the Archeology Department of the National Park Service and as an Editorial Assistant for Art Journal.

Fun Fact about Amanda
She likes to say she got her start in archaeology by spending summers digging in the dirt at her grandparents’ strawberry farm in southern California as a kid!

Cristina M. Hernández

The Archaeological Institute of America is pleased to bestow Cristina M. Hernández from the University of Leicester (UK) with one of two first prizes for the 2022 Graduate Student Paper Award delivered at the 123rd Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America (held virtually from January 5-8, 2022). The paper, entitled “Balnea Aestiva, Balnea Hiemalia: Integrating Solar-Temporal Data to Understand the Use and Sensory Experience of Pompeian Domestic Baths,” took a fresh look at domestic baths in Pompeii to argue that their construction deliberately took into account the benefits of solar heat and light in different seasons, as seen through case studies at the House of the Menander and the House of Giuseppe II. The author then used this position to explore the ways in which microclimates were cultivated through the alignment of domestic spaces, using solar-temporal data to provide a full investigation of the use of private baths throughout the year and to reconstruct the experience of using domestic baths in antiquity. The Committee particularly commends the original and painstaking collection of data upon which the argument was based, the impressive visuals so necessary to understanding the seasonal interplay of solar radiation and architecture, and the well-articulated conclusion.

About Cristina M. Hernández
Since presenting her paper in January, Cristina successfully defended her thesis, “Balneum Domesticum: A Phenomenological and Sensory Study of Architectural Design and Space in Pompeian Domestic Baths,” and was awarded the PhD in April from the University of Leicester (UK). Cristina also holds a BA and MA in the History of Art and Architecture from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she studied Classical and Precolumbian visual cultures. She earned a second Master’s (Distinction) in the Classical Mediterranean from the University of Leicester. 

Fun Fact about Cristina
While a grad student, Cristina kept her full-time job teaching art history at a college in California. She spends her spare time — when she can find it — going on coffee-dates and hikes with her husband, Tom, and her best dog, Brix. Sometimes she swears she can hear Italian ambulance sirens in California, which must mean it’s time to buy plane tickets.

The Graduate Student Paper Award

The Graduate Student Paper Award (GSPA) was established to recognize graduate students for their substantial contributions to the success of the Annual Meeting. If you are a graduate student planning to submit a paper for next year’s Annual Meeting, we encourage you to apply. The award is by self-nomination and submissions remain anonymous throughout the award selection process. In order to be eligible, you must check the box labeled “Graduate student paper award” on the Open Session Submission Form that reads, “I am a graduate student and sole author of this paper and wish to be considered for the Graduate Student Paper Award.” If you are presenting as part of a session, you need to remind your session chair to check this box for you when they submit all of the session materials. Only graduate students who have a paper accepted by the Program for the Annual Meeting Committee and have checked the box on the Open Submission Form will be eligible for the award. Click here for more information on how to apply for the Graduate Student Paper Award.

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