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Emily Bridger Wins Grace Abbott Book Prize for 2021


Emily Bridger, Young Women against Apartheid:
Gender, Youth, and South Africa's Liberation Struggle

(Boydell & Brewer, 2021)

Young Women Against Apartheid won against a very strong field of submissions. It was commended as a sensitive, nuanced portrayal that fills a considerable gap in the scholarship on the history of Apartheid and the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. The Committee praised the book as an important contribution to the history of childhood and youth that offers a much-needed account of Black girlhood in South Africa centred on the perspective of young activists.  

The Committee awarded honourable mention to Brian Rouleau for Empire's Nursery: Children's Literature and the Origins of the American Century (NYU Press, 2021).  

Dr. Emily Bridger is Associate Professor of History at Exeter University. She is a social and cultural historian of modern South Africa, with particular research interests in histories of gender, violence, and memory during the apartheid and post-apartheid periods. Young Women against Apartheid: Gender, Youth and South Africa's Liberation Struggle is her first monograph. Her research predominantly uses oral history interviews to access voices excluded from South Africa’s archives, and to understand the relationship between the past and the present, and the personal and collective. Her essays have appeared in Gender & HistoryJournal of World History and the Journal of Southern African Studies.