Marina Perez de Arcos wins prestigious award for study on founding of the British Council in Madrid

DPIR alumna and CIS associate Marina Perez de Arcos has been awarded the James Whiston Memorial Prize for the most outstanding academic article of 2021 by the Bulletin of Spanish Studies.


Her two-part study, ‘Education, Intelligence and Cultural Diplomacy at the British Council in Madrid, 1940–1941’, focuses on the founding of the British Council’s first branch in Spain and only school to date with Irish Hispanist Walter Starkie at its head.  

Marina said: “I am delighted that my research has been recognised in this way by my peers.

“My main ambition is to share my knowledge with as wide an audience as possible­—winning this accolade will help draw attention to the remarkable events that took place in Spain in the early 1940s”.

Marina is Research Associate at the Centre for International Studies and the Department of Politics and International Relations, where she teaches International Relations. She is also founding coordinator of Spanish Studies at Oxford until the end of this academic year and guest Research Fellow at LSE, where she teaches International History.

Her research covers Spain’s internationalisation in the 1970s and 1980s, Spain’s humanitarian policy during the First World War, early Hispanism at Oxford, and she is co-founder of Global Thinkers of the International—a project aiming at revitalising silenced and underrepresented voices in international relations. She also has a keen interest in policy making and was a presidential advisor to Spain on G20 matters.

The James Whiston Memorial Prize of £1,000 is awarded annually to the author of an article on any subject within the field of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies.

The article has to be judged by a panel of peer assessors to be the most original, accomplished and important study recently published (or accepted for publication) in the Bulletin of Spanish Studies or the Bulletin of Spanish Visual Studies.

Isabel Torres, general editor of the Bulletin of Spanish Studies, said: "Marina’s meticulous archival research and engaging voice sheds light on an important period in history. It is a superbly researched and well-argued study that merits the highest praise”.

Marina's research has also recently been referenced in The Times newspaper.

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