2021 Theme

Medusa is the theme for 2021 MIDCAR. Medusa was a beautiful woman in a context where beauty was a great asset. She was abused by Poseidon, the powerful god who violated her in the temple of Athena, making her jealous. Instead of getting back at Poseidon, Athena cowardly attacked Medusa, the weak female mortal. Athena cursed her by turning her hair into snakes and causing anyone who looked at her to turn into stone. Blame the victim is a well-known way minorities suffer. It is a well-known strategy in defense of those accused of abuse or harassment to confess to a minor fault and blame the victim for making the fault bigger than it is, then, victims are exposed to retaliation. In the Greek myth, Perseus cuts off Medusa's head and uses it as a weapon.

Italo-Agergentino artist Luciano Garbati sculpted a new version of Medusa's sad story where she cuts off Perseo's head. Inspired by the artist's new version, we would like to invite all attendees to re-write our story from discriminated to engaged with a community that fosters our success.

Last year, at MIDCAR 2020, we heard from senior women who have turned their careers into success stories. This year, we want to hear from you on whether you have followed any of their advice, and if not, we shall discuss how to overcome the challenges that hinder us from re-writing our stories.


Issues at mid-career levels are seldom openly discussed. The AI community has become exposed to the world and this poses new questions. Issues related to being a member of an underrepresented group are relevant at all career levels. These are some examples:

  • How do I get invited to give talks?
  • How can I become AAAI senior member?
  • What do I need to know to move to a different institution?
  • How can I make more money?
  • Is it time to apply to become full professor?
  • I was victim of gender/ethnicity-based harrassment. What are the consequences of reporting it?
  • How can I avoid being given more service than my (male) colleagues?