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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Parker Lawson

Parker Lawson

Parker Lawson


Selwyn College


PhD Candidate in Modern Peninsular Literature and Culture Associate Fellow,UK Higher Education Academy


Professor Brad Epps 


Dr Bryan Cameron

Dissertation Title:

"Transgressive Pedagogies in Modern Spain: Educating the Nation, Engaging the World"   

My dissertation, Transgressive Pedagogies in Modern Spain, examines the relationship between educational reform and the formation of nations and identities in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Spain. I explore how advocates of educational and pedagogical reform sought to construct more equitable and dynamic curricula and classrooms, which they believed would contribute to the renewal, or “regeneration,” of society. Through archival work and close readings of published essays and periodicals, my dissertation illuminates the contested atmosphere of civic participation in Spain by focusing primarily on three educational reform movements: the Institución Libre de Enseñanza, the Escuela Moderna, and the Escola Nova Catalana. Analyzing these movements allows me to craft a syncretic thesis that looks at gender and socioeconomic class, variegated understandings of the nation and State, religion and secularism, and competing narratives of history and futurity. Ultimately, I show how these pedagogues—whether Spanish cultural nationalists, Catalan regionalists, or international anarchists—were embedded in global networks of intellectual dialogue, cultural exchange, and political dissonance.

In addition to my dissertation, I am writing on colonialism and biopolitics with respect to the life and work of Joaquín Costa. I am also co-editing two special issue projects, one on Krausism and Spanish intellectuals in exile, and another on education and cultural production in the so-called Global Hispanophone.

My research on education and pedagogy stems from my commitment to providing exceptional and inclusive undergraduate education. I teach, lecture, and conduct Oxbridge-style supervisions on a number of undergraduate papers at Cambridge. I also enjoy advising applicants to graduate school and major fellowship competitions, including Fulbright, Rotary, and Gates Cambridge.

Recent Research Projects

Spanish Intellectuals from Krause to Post-War Britain: Series of four seminars with 12 international scholars. Successfully applied for £3000 of support provided by DAAD Research Hub for German Studies, Department of Spanish, Gates Cambridge Scholars’ Programme, Instituto Cervantes, and Residencia de Estudiantes.

Invited Lecture, “‘Soñaba un nuevo florecer de España’: Reading Rebirth and Reverence in Machado’s ‘elogio’ of Francisco Giner de los Ríos,” Instituto Internacional, Madrid (postponed due to covid-19)

“Colonialism and Coloniality in the Writings of Joaquín Costa,” Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland, University College Dublin: (rescheduled to spring 2021)

“Pedagogical Idealisms and New School Education in Early Twentieth-Century Spain,” Association of Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, 11 July 2019


Gates Cambridge Scholar; Gibson Spanish Scholarship (£1,000 GBP, 2018–2019); Rotary Global Grant Scholar ($40,000 USD, 2016–2017); Fulbright Scholar to Madrid, Spain (2015–2016); David Hershberg Study Abroad Scholarship, World Affairs Council of Kentucky ($2,000 USD for immersive summer study in Costa Rica and Panamá, 2012); Coca-Cola Scholar ($10,000 USD undergraduate scholarship); Phi Beta Kappa, Centre College

Published works:

“Francisco Ferrer Guardia's Escuela Moderna: Active Learning and Internationalist Pedagogy,” in Revisiting Centres and Peripheries in Iberian Studies: Culture, History and Socio-economic Change, ed. Mark Gant (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2019), pp. 207–232

Review of The Configuration of the Spanish Public Sphere: From the Enlightenment to the Indignados, eds. David Jiménez Torres and Leticia Villamediana González, International Journal of Iberian Studies, 33.1 (2020), pp. 105–106.


SP1: Introduction to Hispanic Literature

SP4: Modern Spanish Culture and History

SP9: Spanish Literature, Thought, and History, after 1820

SPB2: Translation from Spanish Supervisor to 3rd year students completing the Year Abroad Project (YAP)

Supervisor to 4th year students completing Optional Dissertations

Conference and Workshop Participation:

“Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia’s Escuela Moderna: Autonomous learning and anti-nationalist pedagogy in Noucentista Catalonia,” Association of Contemporary Iberian Studies Conference, Universitat de Barcelona, 5 –7 September 2018.

“#JoAdoctrino and l’Escola Nova Catalana: Freethinking pedagogies in Catalonia a century separated,” Spain: Social Movements Between Past and Present, University of Cambridge, 8 June 2018

Panel chair, Between the Frames: Politics and Visual Print Media from Spain since 1975, University of Cambridge, 18–19 May 2018

Panel chair, “Education, Variation, Language,” (Dis)articulating Identities: Multilingualism in the Catalan Countries, University of Cambridge, 19 January 2018

Co-convener (with Afra Pujol-Campeny), Catalonia in Context, an interdisciplinary panel, featuring Prof Dominic Keown, Prof Montserrat Guibernau, Dr Jeffrey Miley, and Prof Brad Epps, University of Cambridge, 24 November 2017

Participant, Anglo-Catalan Society Conference, University of Birmingham, 10–12 November 2017

Invited speaker, “The possibilities of a ‘Catalan autumn’?” Cambridge University Eurocrats Society, Wolfson College, University of Cambridge, 29 October 2017

“Catalan Responses to the Politics of Language During the Franco Regime,” Modern European History Workshop, St. John’s College, University of Cambridge, 7 March 2017

Previous Education:

University of Cambridge, MPhil in Modern European History. Dissertation title: “Catalan Responses to the Politics of Language During Franco’s Regime”

Centre College, BA in Spanish and International Studies (Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude)

Other activities and roles:

Participant in the Catalan/Multilingualism Reading Group convened by Professor Brad Epps and Dr Rhiannon McGlade; Public Relations Chair, Gates Scholars’ Council; Vice-President of the MCR, Selwyn College (2016–2017)