Dr Zoe Hope Bulaitis

Dr Zoe Hope Bulaitis

Department of English Literature
Teaching Fellow

Contact details

Arts Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Zoe Hope Bulaitis is an educator and researcher who is motivated by better articulating the value of the humanities in the twenty-first century. Drawing on expertise in both nineteenth-century and contemporary studies, Zoe is the author of a recent open access book, Value and the Humanities: The Neoliberal University and Our Victorian Inheritance (Palgrave Studies in Literature, Culture, and Economics, 2020). Zoe is currently also co-editor of C21 Literature: Journal of 21st-Century Writings and a member of the Executive Committee for the British Association for Contemporary Literary Studies (BACLS).


  • 2018 - Doctor of Philosophy, Articulations of Value in the Humanities: The Contemporary Neoliberal University and Our Victorian Inheritance, University of Exeter
  • 2013 - Master of Arts, Payment by Results: The Impact of an Economic Approach to Education Policy within the Humanities, University of Exeter
  • 2012 - Bachelor of Arts, English Literature (BA Hons.), University of Exeter


Dr Zoe Bulaitis is a literary scholar and critical theorist with a background in cultural and higher education policy. Her research focuses on the articulation of cultural value in contemporary higher education and the creative sector, in particular; the economisation of cultural value; policy analysis and critique; histories of liberal and neoliberal education; humanities-oriented methodologies; and the public value of arts and humanities research. Her open access book, Value and the Humanities: The Neoliberal University and Our Victorian Inheritance, which explores all of these topics is available here.

Zoe is passionate about the interconnections between teaching and research, both within higher education and within a wider learning ecosystem. She holds a PhD from the University of Exeter where she taught literature and critical theory within the English Department from 2013-18. Before joining Birmingham as a Teaching Fellow, Zoe was a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton (2018-19).

Zoe is fascinated in understanding contemporary creative ecologies and the civic role of universities within city-regions. From 2019-2020, she undertook a postdoctoral role within the AHRC-funded Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC), based at the University of Manchester. In this role Zoe worked with the British Council, NESTA, and local policymakers to shape new ways of thinking about the role of the humanities in city-planning, local industrial strategies, and inclusive growth. Publications around this topic are forthcoming in 2021. At Birmingham, Zoe brings this hand-on policy experience to her teaching practice, as co-convenor of the Public English (2nd Year) module. This innovative module allows students to think about the place of English Literature outside academia, and particularly in relation to schools, cultural policymaking, community education and public engagement.


First Year:

  • Prose: Culture and Contexts
  • Analysing Prose
  • English and the World
  • Discovering North American Literature 

Second Year:

  • Public English
  • Victorian Literature
  • The Gothic

Postgraduate supervision

I am interested in supervising projects in both nineteenth-century and contemporary studies. I am particularly interested in projects exploring themes of economics, cultural value, liberalism and/or neoliberalism, education, policy work, critical theory, feminism, campus fictions, as well as current political debates.

Find out more - our PhD English Literature  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


My research project explores the broad theme of the value of the humanities in our present moment. More specifically, I am currently interested in the following three research strands:

1)     Societal ‘impact’ and metrics for evaluating value

  • See my open access article: Bulaitis, Z. Measuring impact in the humanities: Learning from accountability and economics in a contemporary history of cultural value. Palgrave Communications 3, 7 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-017-0002-7.
  • Forthcoming edited collection (2021): Bulaitis, Z. and Ochsner, M. “Accountability in Academic Life: European Perspectives on Societal Impact Evaluation” based on work as part of the EU Horizon2020 funded COST Action project ENRESSH.

2)     The Public Value of the Humanities

  • See my open access monograph Value and the Humanities: The Neoliberal University and Our Victorian Inheritance (2020)which explores all of these topics is available here.
  • See also commissioned industry report for Pearson Efficacy & Research “Employability in Higher Education: A review of practice and strategies around the world” (2016).
  • Forthcoming publications in 2021-22 include a Rapid Evidence Review of the Value of Moving Image Education in Secondary Schools for the British Film Institute (BFI) and associated academic article.

3)     The Representation of Academics and Academic Work in Popular Debate and Culture


Zoe is happy to make media appearances and has experience working with TV researchers, radio, newspapers, and events organisers. See a sample of media activites below:

Media experience

  • Film Interview
  • Consultant Researcher for Television
  • Podcasts


  • Freelance Consultant for policy concerning higher education policy and the value of the humanities within the creative economy. Currently working with the Education department at the BFI, previously worked with local councils in Exeter on cultural strategy, creative lobby groups and funding bodies including the British Council, Creative Industries Federation, and the Arts Council.
  • Author of briefings to Parliament, around training humanities researchers to engage with policymaking careers.
  • Member of several European policy networks which advocate for the value of SHAPE / Social Sciences and Humanities research: Advisory Board Member for European Consortium of Humanities Institutes and Centres (ECHIC); Member of Working Group 2 for the European Network for Research Evaluation in the Social Sciences and the Humanities (ENRESSH). Co-Editor of the forthcoming book (edited collection) “Accountability in Academic Life: European Perspectives on Societal Impact Evaluation” based on work as part of the EU Horizon2020 funded COST Action project ENRESSH ; Incoming treasurer for EVALHUM, a Europe-wide initiative concerned with research evaluation, innovation and impact in the Social Sciences and Humanities.

Policy experience

Advocacy research, giving evidence to APPGs, policy brief writing, funding bids, rapid evidence reviews, local consultation events, attending policy-training and related higher education and cultural policy conferences, co-organised workshops to encourage humanities graduates to engage with careers in policymaking.