Zoe’s research focuses on the present changes to the value of the humanities under processes of neoliberalism. Zoe has a specific interest in expressions of liberal education in the late-nineteenth century in relation to the present moment in higher education in Britain. Her work involves the analysis of Victorian novels and non-fictional cultural texts but also the decoding contemporary white papers. Insights from the past enable for  a sense of historicity to the current moment of crisis, and her research seeks to trace the shift from liberal to neoliberal education. Her work seeks to articulate the present crisis facing the humanities in a marketised system of higher education in Britain with a longer perspective taken into account.

Zoe is also interested in the representation of the humanities in popular culture as this contributes to valuation in a mediated world. She wonders worries about the influence of television in revealing the state of things, and in shaping the world, compared to influence of higher education institutions.


Sharing knowledge is one of the best parts of academic research. To date, Zoe has presented her ideas at the following conferences:

  • Theorising the Popular, Liverpool (2013)
  • Bloomsbury 21st Century Literatures, Brighton (2014)
  • Postgraduate  Humanities Conference, Exeter (2014)
  • HEA Annual Arts and Humanities Conference, Manchester (2014)
  • Dissidence, UCL London (2015)
  • Postgraduate  Humanities Conference, Exeter (2015)
  • Evidence on Trial, Durham Institute of Advanced Study (2016)

Zoe has also been involved in the organisation of a number of conferences from assistantships (BAAS) to committee level work (PGR HUMS Conference 2014) to chairing (Beyond the Book Symposium, Exeter 2015).

Research Networks

As a result of her interest in nineteenth century literature, Zoe is the Postgraduate Representative for the Centre for Victorian Studies at the University of Exeter.