AMECYS 2020 Book Award Winners!

Dear Members,

It is with great pleasure that I write to announce that the co-winners of the AMECYS 2020 book award competition: Nazan Maksudyan’s Ottoman Children and Youth During World War I (Syracuse 2019) and Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian’s Incarcerated Childhood and the Politics of Unchilding (Cambridge 2019). The book award committee noted the high calibre of all the submissions, but selected the winners, after long and careful deliberations, based on their outstanding contribution to the study of children and youth in the Middle East, North Africa and their diasporic communities.  

In regards to Maksudyan’s book, the committee notes its significant contribution to the study of children in the Ottoman Empire and in the discipline of history more generally. The committee describes the book as “impeccably written, highly readable, without the jargon that often accompanies academic tomes, providing both a new approach to the study of children and a new approach to working in and interpreting archives. This is simply a wonderful book that will be of interest not only to academics working on the Middle East but to a wide range of scholars across disciplines and regions with an interest in the study of children and childhood.”

In regards to Shalhoub-Kevorkian’s book, the committee notes its significant contribution to understanding how children are used as political capital by those in power in society.  The committee writes, “Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, as an academic and activist living and working in East Jerusalem is not a distanced observer of the society she is studying but an engaged participant with a commitment to witnessing and sharing the experiences of Palestinians in Israel, and of Palestinian children in particular.” The committee lauds the book’s contribution “both to the academic literature on children and childhood in the Middle East and to an engaged and activist politics of the present.”  

Please listen to AMECYS’ interview podcasts with these authors on their respective books here.

AMECYS would like to thank the esteemed members of the committee who graciously shared their time and expertise to make the first AMECYS book award a success. The committee consisted of: Leyla Neyzi (University of Glasgow), Nancy Stockdale (University of  North Texas), and Shahram Khosravi (Stockholm University). 

Lastly, we would like to thank all the scholars whose excellent work was submitted to the competition. They helped ensure a robust competition and they collectively demonstrate the exponential growth in the field of children and youth studies in the Middle East and North Africa. We encourage you to read all their books as well:

Sara Pursley, Familiar Futures

Shenila Khoja-Moolji, Forging the Ideal Educated Girl

 Neha Vora, Teach for Arabia

 Nadine Sika, Youth Activism and Contentious Politics in Egypt

 Naomi Sakr and Jeanette Steemers, Screen Media for Arab and European Children

Mark Thompson, Being Young, Male and Saudi

 Allon J. Uhlmann, Arabic instruction in Israel: Lessons in conflict, cognition and failure 

Jamal Elias, Alef is for Allah: Childhood, Emotion, Visual Culture in Islamic Societies

Janette Habashi, Political Socialization of Youth: A Palestine Case Study


Heidi Morrison (on behalf of the AMECYS board)

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