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2022 David and Elaine Spitz Prize Winner

CSPT is pleased to announce the winner for the 2022 Prize:

Hagar Kotef, Professor of Political Theory in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies University London, for her book: The Colonizing Self: or, Home and Homelessness in Israel/Palestine (Duke University Press, 2020).

The following is the Prize Committee’s commendation for the book:

The Colonizing Self is timely, and it is haunting. It reframes contemporary understandings of liberalism, democracy, and their relationships to colonialism, violence, and the home. The book focuses on Israel, including its self-presentation as a democracy, yet its arguments implicate all other settler democracies and societies built on the homes of others. It models how to theorize from one place while speaking to many. Kotef illuminates how violence haunts the settler home, and settler democracies and their subjects are attached to violence. With careful attention to the entanglements of the personal and the political, The Colonizing Self theorizes home in all its iterations and twinned dimensions of violence. Settler democracies are in fact built through settler homes, on the ruins of the colonized. Liberal progress, peace, and even contemporary critiques do not undo or perhaps challenge these processes; they may even be alibis for the attachment to violence that forms the selfhood of settlers. The book brilliantly integrates its novel readings of canonical theorists, including Aristotle, Locke, and Arendt, with penetrating analysis of everyday life and ordinary artifacts, ranging from organic farming to reality TV. It does nothing less than completely transform the nature of the conversation about violence in relation to democracies and liberalism—and leave its own readers transformed.  

2022 Prize Committee: 

Lori Jo Marso (Chair)

Murad Idris

Andrew Valls

See past Spitz Prize winners here

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