Sarah Walters wins best article prize

Sarah Walters, Associate Professor in the Population Studies Group, has won the Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth’s “Best Article” Prize.

Sarah’s article – titled “Child! Now you are”: Identity registration, labor, and the definition of childhood in Colonial Tanganyika, 1910–1950 – received the following praise from the prize-awarding committee:-

“Sarah Walters’ exceptionally well written article manages the trick of being both conceptually sophisticated and absolutely accessible to non-specialist audiences. Her article traces child labor in colonial Tanganyika over the first half of the 20th century and argues that the variations in and ambiguity of definitions of childhood had many repercussions, including the institutional inability to implement child labor legislation. At the same time, Walters explains, this lack of a singular definition of childhood meant that children could exert themselves and claim agency over their own economic futures by working and increasing their financial security. This complex view of colonial processes is one of the most impressive aspects of this multifaceted research piece. By using evidence from the archives including inspection reports, legislative debates, newspapers, and anthropological investigations, Walters aptly challenges the notion that western definitions of childhood were imposed on colonial subjects wholesale; rather what we find is the degree to which children and youth in colonial Tanganyika were able to act as somewhat autonomous agents, using western-oriented definitions and rules to their own advantage. In addition to its historical originality, this scholarship will be useful and stimulating to any reader intrigued with wider present-day discussions about empowerment, agency, and the politics of development and also about human rights – including children’s rights.”

Many congratulations to Sarah!

The full article can be found at


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