Current Institutional Affiliation
Doctoral Candidate, Columbia University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2013
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, Columbia University
Coming of Age in Palestine: Childhood and Youth between Two Generations

The mass mobilization of young people – known colloquially as "children of the stones" – in the first Intifada generation gave rise to intense debates in Palestinian society and the international community about the exposure of children and youth to political violence within the context of national liberation. Since the Oslo state building process and the second Intifada, these debates continue amidst the establishment of institutions within the Palestinian Authority (PA) and a flourishing of international humanitarian and development projects that have shaped children and youth as populations with particular rights and needs, requiring new modes of governance. How do historical events marked by violence (i.e. the two Palestinian uprisings) serve to complicate the very distinctions between "childhood," a category of social and political immaturity, and "youth", a period of nascent political subjectivity? How do fluctuating classifications of age – normatively marked with words like child, youth, adult, and generation – (re)structure relations of power? My project will investigate how categories of childhood and youth are differently constructed and mobilized for the first Intifada generation and the current Aqsa (or second Intifada) generation, by both Palestinian and international actors. As the first full-length ethnographic study to draw attention to Palestinian children and youth as political subjects, this research will speak to the role of state and non-state practices of age classifications, and the forms of political participation and social formation that such practices make possible.