2020 Program Committee Report

CAMWS Program Committee Report, 2019-2020

Submitted by Anne Groton, Chair

The work of the CAMWS Program Committee (Anne Groton, Chair [President, ex officio], Andrew Faulkner [Immediate Past President, ex officio], David Schenker [President Elect, ex officio], Zoe Stamatopoulou, Ellen Greene, Jennifer Ferriss-Hill, Keely Lake, Vassiliki Panoussi, and Timothy Wutrich) had been proceeding smoothly up until January, when the committee was stunned by the death of one of its members, Keely Lake, whose loss we continue to grieve. Then the COVID-19 crisis struck, making it impossible to hold the CAMWS Annual Meeting in Birmingham on March 25-28, 2020. The program is currently being transformed for the first-ever virtual meeting of CAMWS, to be conducted via Zoom on May 26-30, 2020.

If the meeting had taken place as planned, the program would have featured 410 presenters: 309 presenters of individual papers (including nine undergraduates), 67 presenters (including five respondents) in 14 panels, 19 presenters in eight workshops, and 15 undergraduate presenters of 13 posters. It would also have included 22 (co-)moderators of 16 round-table discussions.


16 panels proposed: 12 accepted, 2 accepted after revision, 1 converted to a workshop, 1 converted to 3 undergraduate posters and an individual faculty paper

 7 workshops proposed: 7 accepted plus 1 panel converted to a workshop

302 non-undergraduate individual abstracts submitted: 299 selected (99%) plus 1 abstract accepted from what was going to be an undergraduate panel (3 students with a faculty member) until the Executive Committee voted not to allow such panels

33 undergraduate abstracts submitted: 9 selected (27%) plus 5 accepted for poster session, plus 3 accepted for poster session from what was going to be an undergraduate panel, plus 4 out of 5 posters accepted in January after call for posters sent out, plus 1 poster accepted after revision

16 round-table discussions proposed: 8 accepted for Thursday, 8 accepted for Saturday


Continue having a poster session. This year we received a record number of undergraduate abstracts; since few of them were polished enough to be accepted as individual presentations, acceptance for the poster session served as a consolation prize. Expanding the poster session to include graduate students might make it harder for undergraduates to be accepted.

Provide more specific instructions for what should be included in the abstracts for the poster session. Each abstract should describe the poster and explain its main points or arguments.

Reduce the length of all abstracts from 800 to 500 words, as the Society for Classical Studies recently did. That would speed up the reading for the Program Committee. 

Many thanks to the Program Committee members for their careful reading and evaluation of hundreds of abstracts, often under time pressure, and to ex-officio members Andrew Faulkner and David Schenker for their invaluable help in determining the two Presidential Awards.  

Presidential Awards for 2019-2020: 13 papers were submitted by graduate students, two by undergraduates. Several of the papers had to be revised and resubmitted because the authors had sent full-length, heavily footnoted research papers rather than 15-minute oral presentations. 

Outstanding Graduate Student Paper

Winner: Marko Vitas (Brown University), “Name Replacement as a Stylistic Device in Pindar’s Epinician Odes" 
Honorable Mention: Ximing Lu (University of Wisconsin-Madison), "Cicero’s Athenian Days: Intellectual Rivalry through Study Abroad"

Honorable Mention: Eva Carrara (Florida State University), "Cato as Exemplary Historian in Against Verres

Outstanding Undergraduate Student Paper 

Winner: Helen Ruger (Columbia University), "Graceful Giving: The Role of the Female in Seneca’s De Beneficiis"

Honorable Mention: Tiffany Nguyen (Trinity University), "The Performative Rhetoric of Horace in the Odes

Undergraduate Poster Prize: Although the undergraduate poster session will now be conducted via Zoom, we still plan to award a prize for the best poster. A panel of judges will listen to all of the presentations and decide on a winner.