The Anthropology of Children and Youth Interest Group (ACYIG) is delighted to announce our inaugural prize for best new book representing the anthropology of childhood or youth goes to… Camilla Morelli, for her book Children of the Rainforest: Shaping the Future in Amazonia (Rutgers 2023).
Morelli’s remarkable ethnography traces how Indigenous Matses children are actively driving cultural change in their communities in a globalising world, addressing old questions about children’s agentive roles in generational cultural shifts and suggesting provocative new questions about what anthropology may have been overlooking about the cultural and global significance of children’s imaginings, affective attachments, and aspirations. The prize committee agreed that Morelli’s monograph exemplified the criteria of originality, relevance to the anthropology of childhood and/or youth, potential for significant impact on the field, and readability. In addition, Morelli’s book is rich with ethnographic detail, children’s drawings and photographs, making this an engaging and accessible text for a wide readership. Morelli’s clear and compelling storytelling makes it appear as though ethnographic research with children in a remote forest setting is easy. To so effectively trace the processes of cultural change from local to global levels from children’s perspectives takes an ethnographer of impressive skill and demands tremendous emotional and physical labour. Congratulations, Camilla on your achievement.