Hi! I am Zoe, and I am exploring ways to articulate the value of the humanities in the twenty-first century
Value and the Humanities
My open access monograph, Value and the Humanities: the Neoliberal University and Our Victorian Inheritance (2020) is available to read online as part of Palgrave’s Studies in Literature, Culture, and Economics.
Value and the Humanities traces the shift from liberal to neoliberal education from the nineteenth century to the present day. The book articulates a kaleidoscopic range of humanities practices which demonstrate that although recent policy encourages higher education to be entirely motivated by outcomes, fiscal targets, and the acquisition of employability skills, the humanities continue to inspire and aspire beyond these limits.
“This powerful and thoughtful book draws out the Victorian antecedents of our current debates over universities, schools, museums, fiction and public policy, and so provides a deep and productive view of their past and current contexts. This means it is also a significant contribution to—and intervention in—these debates.”
Robert Eaglestone, Professor of Contemporary Literature and Thought, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
Creative Education Pathways
I am committed to making practical interventions in developing educational pathways for the humanities. Please read on if you are interested in my research connecting to schools, higher education policy, and employability.
Most recently, I have been working with the British Film Institute (BFI), exploring potential innovations in the KS3 curriculum to improve attrition rates of arts and humanities subjects at GCSE (2020-21)
In addition, I believe that better capturing graduate success stories is an equally vital part of the admissions process. To that end, I am currently planning a special issue of Arts and Humanities in Higher Education on the future of employability, to provide me with an updated picture of the challenges and opportunities for arts and humanities graduates worldwide. This builds on my previous research for Pearson around global employability.
Cities and Civics
I am working develop the civic relationships between universities and their local regions through both education and research activities.
Currently, I convene the course ‘Public English’ at the University of Birmingham. This allows students to understand the value of their degrees and interests in the world, with a specific interest paid to schools education, community engagement, and creative industries / cultural policy.
This teaching is closely connected to my research on the future of the public humanities. Last year, I joined the team of interdisciplinary researchers involved in the Academic College, and co-founded UniTopia (2020 -). Both of these projects are committed to understanding new ‘civic ecologies’ between universities and cities.
Fiction and Representation
I write on the connection between literature and life in academic fictions.
Currently I am working on a project about Dark Academia for as part of the Neo-Victorian Decadences team, research forthcoming…. watch this space!