Settlers steal indigenous children (or their childhood): Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Incarcerated Childhood and the Politics of Unchilding, Cambridge University Press, 2019


Description: Who has the right to a safe and protected childhood? Incarcerated Childhood and the Politics of Unchilding deepens understanding of children as political capital in the hands of those in power, critically engaging children’s voices alongside archival, historical, and ethnographic material in Palestine. Offering the concept of unchilding’, Shalhoub-Kevorkian exposes the political work of violence designed to create, direct, govern, transform, and construct colonized children as dangerous, racialized others, enabling their eviction from the realm of childhood itself. Penetrating children’s everyday intimate spaces and, simultaneously, their bodies and lives, unchilding works to enable a complex machinery of violence against Palestinian children: imprisonment, injuries, loss, trauma, and militarized political occupation. At the same time as the book documents violations of children’s rights and the consequences this has for their present and future well-being, it charts children’s resistance to and power to interrupt colonial violence, reclaiming childhood and, with it, Palestinian futures.

Draws on a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of racism, colonialism and settler colonialism

Exposes historical tactics of dispossession as well as current state and global regimes of dispossession

Challenges traditional theorization on childhood while offering the concept of unchilding as the authorized eviction of children from childhood

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