Zoe Bulaitis

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College: College of Humanities
Discipline: English
Department: English

Zoe Bulaitis is a PhD Candidate at the University of Exeter working in the field of Literary Criticism and Theory, where she also has a BA and MA in English Literature, specialising in Criticism and Theory.

Her doctoral research investigates the value of the arts and humanities in Britain within the context of marketisation. Zoe's research explores the intersections between culture and the economy, tracing the shifting patterns from liberal to neoliberal values within the academy and in wider society. Although contemporary in its discussion of the value of the humanities today, Zoe's thesis is rooted in past, through an engagement with Victorian policy and debate. The expressions of liberal education found in the writings of Matthew Arnold and J.S. Mill inform and inspire this project.

Zoe actively engages in the fields of visual and popular culture; higher education policy; and cultural and critical theory concerning notions of value.

Beyond the thesis, Zoe is interested in projects that further inform her opinions on the values of a humanistic education and its interaction in the world. For example, she worked with the University of Exeter Arts and Culture Department in developing a public arts programme from within the University. (For more details see www.artsandcultureexeter.co.uk). Understanding the creative industries is an important part of conversations in the value of the humanities. 

Other research interests include the representation of the academic or educator in popular culture, from the classic Oxbridge Don (such as in Porterhouse Blue) to the contemporary economised universities presented in contemporary literature, film and television. She bridges her own research with popular culture (and jokes) on her website https://zoebulaitis.com/

Zoe is a passionate educator and was delighted to be twice shortlisted for 'Best Postgraduate Teacher' at the University of Exeter in 2015 and in 2017. She has been a Graduate Teaching Assistant in English at the University of Exeter since 2013. Zoe has taught, marked and moderated in Approaches to Criticism, Level 1 (every year 2013 - 2017), Advanced Critical Theory, Level 3 (2014-15), and The Novel, Level 1 (2017). She is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, has completed LTHE Stage 3 and enjoys participating in the ASPIRE community. 

In two voyages of exploration in 2014 and 2016 Zoe circumnavigated the globe by ship. Working aboard on a floating university (your eyes do not deceive you!) provided her with an invaluable insight into other cultures, visiting 30 countries and witnessing the effects of globalisation first hand.


As part of this unique global education programme, Zoe taught World Literature, Global Media and International Marketing to the lucky undergraduates who took part in a Semester at Sea sponsored by the University of Virginia (http://www.semesteratsea.org). She highly recommends Cuba.