Lees, Lynton

Field: Modern Europe; Advisor: Pedersen; Year: 2017

Lynton Lees is a PhD candidate in modern European history. Her research explores the political history of education, liberal democracy, and citizenship in the late British empire. Placing education within broader political, social, cultural, and imperial contexts, her doctoral research examines how education across the British world was shaped by a growing sense of democracy’s fragility and contingency in the interwar and postwar period. Her dissertation traces the development and dissemination of new forms of education for democratic citizenship across the British world, in postwar West Germany, and in rehabilitative projects for displaced child refugees. Recovering the exclusion of Britain’s non-white imperial subjects from these blueprints for self-governance, it furthers our understanding of education’s historic relationship to race and imperialism. 
Lynton's work has been supported by the National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship 2021-2022, the North American Conference on British Studies (NACBS), the Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life (IRCPL), the Kathleen M. Gash Fellowship in British History and the Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies (IIJS) at Columbia. She was offered the Fulbright All-Disciplines Postgraduate Award in 2017. She is the administrative assistant for the New York-Cambridge Teaching Collaboration in twentieth century British history.


Lynton graduated with a BA Hons (First Class) in History from Christ Church, University of Oxford in 2016. She was a visiting student in the History department at Princeton University in 2014. In 2020/2021 she was a visiting scholar at Birkbeck College, University of London, working between the Centre for the Study of Internationalism and the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism.


Lynton has taught in lecture classes in modern British history (1760-present) and modern German history (1618-present) at Columbia, and served as grader for the seminar in the Social and Cultural History of Food in Europe at Barnard. In 2019/2020 she was the department's Lead Teaching Fellow, coordinating the department's TA training and regular pedagogical programming for graduate students and faculty. She previously ran the Access and Outreach department at Christ Church, University of Oxford. As an undergraduate she founded Oxford First Generation Students, the first society in the UK to support students who are the first in their family to attend university, and represented the organisation in several press and media appearances. She remains passionate about broadening access to higher education and promoting educational opportunities for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. She is originally from Lancaster, UK.