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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2020

Value and the Humanities

The Neoliberal University and Our Victorian Inheritance

Palgrave Macmillan


  • Explores future strategies for value articulation in the humanities

  • Steps away from the rhetoric of crisis and argues for a critical analysis of the value of the humanities within a broader history

  • Engages with higher education policy and provides a constructive report of contemporary higher education

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xvii
  2. Introduction

    • Zoe Hope Bulaitis
    Pages 1-34Open Access
  3. The Relationship Between Academic Fiction and Academic Life

    • Zoe Hope Bulaitis
    Pages 113-175Open Access
  4. Conclusion

    • Zoe Hope Bulaitis
    Pages 241-248Open Access
  5. Back Matter

    Pages 249-255

About this book

Tracing the shift from liberal to neoliberal education from the nineteenth century to the present day, this open access book provides a rich and previously underdeveloped narrative of value in higher education in England. Value and the Humanities draws upon historical, financial, and critical debates concerning educational and cultural policy. Rather than writing a singular defence of the humanities against economic rationalism, Zoe Hope Bulaitis constructs a nuanced map of the intersections of value in the humanities, encompassing an exploration of policy engagement, scientific discourses, fictional representation, and the humanities in public life. 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 book is a historically-grounded and theoretically-informed analysis of the value of the humanities within the context of the market.


  • neoliberal university
  • humanities education
  • higher education
  • humanities crisis
  • economics of education
  • higher education policy
  • Victorian literature
  • Victorian economics
  • Open Access


“Bulaitis’s analysis of the values conveyed both in higher education speech and policies provides a useful study of how they are perceived, imagined, and put into practice within the British neoliberal context. … Bulaitis has articulated very convincing academic arguments to explain the shift from liberal to neoliberal university values and debates. This book offers accurate, clear, and meaningful food for thought for those interested in the study of the processes of ‘marketisation’ and ‘economisation’ of higher education.” (Catherine Coron, Journal of British Studies, Vol. 60 (4), October, 2021) “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)

Authors and Affiliations

  • University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

    Zoe Hope Bulaitis

About the author

Zoe Hope Bulaitis is a literary scholar with expertise in cultural and higher education policy. She is a researcher in the Creative Industries: Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC) within the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures at the University of Manchester, UK. She holds a PhD from the University of Exeter where she previously taught literature and critical theory within the English Department.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)