Graduate Student Paper Award

2016 AIA Grad Student Paper Award winners
Danielle Smotherman Bennett & Andrea Brock

Graduate students are the future of our profession and contribute substantially to the success of the Archaeological Institute of America’s Annual Meeting by delivering papers based on original research. Through its Graduate Student Paper Award the Archaeological Institute of America recognizes this contribution and encourages outstanding research by students.

Eligibility and General Information
Eligible students are predoctoral students in any discipline related to archaeology who have had a paper accepted by the Program for the Annual Meeting Committee for presentation at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the AIA and who have checked the box on the submission form indicating that they were interested in the award. Accepted papers should then be submitted by email and in their entirety to the Graduate Student Paper Award Committee for consideration for the award. The full written paper along with images must be received by December 1, 2017. In substance and form the paper that is delivered should be the same as that submitted.

Co-authored papers: We encourage collaborative work between students and will consider co-authored papers when all contributors hold student status. We are not able to accept papers with a senior scholar as co-author (anyone holding a PhD at the time of submission) since the committee cannot determine the amount of input from the student author(s).

The written paper and its oral and visual presentation will be judged for (1) originality, (2) concision and (3) delivery. Assessment of the presentation will not be affected either by technological format of presentation or by circumstances beyond the presenter’s control, but rather it will be judged by organization and rhetorical delivery. The selection committee consists of faculty and scholars who are members of the AIA. 

The award will include a certificate of award and a prize consisting of books from multiple presses that exhibit at the annual meeting. The winner will be announced on the AIA website. A letter will be sent to the chair of the academic department at the winner’s institution announcing the award.

Submission Requirements

  • Submissions must be in 12 pt Times New Roman, double spaced, with 1" margins
  • Presenter names should not appear on the submitted paper
  • Allotted presentation time should be included in the document immediately under the paper title
  • Paper length should be appropriate for the time slot allowed (ca. 2 minutes per page is a good rule of thumb). Any paper that exceeds the appropriate length will not be considered
  • Accompanying images must be submitted separately from the paper
  • Co-authored papers are accepted when all contributors hold student status

Text and images should be submitted by email as either a Word or PDF document to

2016 Graduate Student Paper Award: Andrea Brock

Ms. Brock’s paper, “Recent Discoveries from a Mechanized Coring Survey of Rome's Forum Boarium”, presented the preliminary results of new work being done in the Forum Boarium in Rome. The paper was innovative and represents new data gathered and analyzed by Ms. Brock in order to gain much greater understanding of the archaic city. The project is innovative and will likely have a great deal of impact on the field of Roman archaeology. Ms. Brock's presentation was polished with excellent images to accompany the text and she provided a professional, clear and engaging talk.

2016 Graduate Student Paper Award: Danielle Smotherman Bennett

Ms. Smotherman Bennett’s paper, “Breaking the Silence: Philomela in the Athenian World of Images”, gives voice to the voiceless through a careful analysis of gesture and inscriptions on Attic vases of the Late Archaic and Classical periods depicting the myth of Philomela.  Her groundbreaking approach incorporates ancient literary evidence, as well as communication theory, to illuminate the visual markers and ancient perceptions of psychological and emotional trauma. Ms. Smotherman Bennett's presentation was lively, polished and perfectly delivered and she clearly had agreement from the audience about her conclusions and the importance of the work.


Past Winners of the Graduate Student Paper Award

2015 Johanna Boyer
Rachel Kulick
2014 Christopher Hale
2013 Annemarie Catania
2012 Margaret M. Andrews
Allison Emmerson
2011 Natalie Abell
2010 John (Mac) Marston (first prize)
Stephanie Pearson (honorable mention)
2009 Marcie Handler and
Panagiota A. Pantou
2008 Stephan Zink
2007 Philip Sapirstein (first prize)
Mont Allen (honorable mention)
2006 Elizabeth R. Macaulay Lewis (first prize)
Nathan T. Elkins (honorable mention)

Return to previous page