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Title: Articulations of value in the humanities : the contemporary neoliberal university and our Victorian inheritance
Author: Bulaitis, Zoe Hope
ISNI:       0000 0004 7427 2922
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis traces the shift from liberal to neoliberal education from the nineteenth century to the present day, in order to provide a rich and previously underdeveloped narrative of value in higher education in England. Rather than attempting to justify the value of the humanities within the presiding economic frameworks, or writing a defence against market rationalism, this thesis offers an original contribution through an immersion in historical, financial, and critical debates concerning educational policy. Drawing upon close reading and discursive analysis, this thesis constructs a nuanced map of the intersections of value in the humanities. The discussion encompasses an exploration of policymaking practices, scientific discourse, mediated representations, and public cultural life. The structure of the thesis is as follows. The introductory chapter outlines the overarching methodology by defining the contemporary period of this project (2008-14), establishing relevant scholarship, and drawing out the correspondences between the nineteenth century and the present day. Chapter one establishes a history of the Payment by Results approach in policymaking, first established in the Revised Code of Education (1862) and recently re-introduced in the reforms of the Browne Report (2010). Understanding the predominance of such short-term and quantitative policy is essential for detailing how value is articulated. Chapter two reconsiders the two cultures debate. In contrast to the misrepresentative, yet pervasive, perception that the sciences and the humanities are fundamentally in opposition, I propose a more nuanced history of these disciplines. Chapter three addresses fictional representations of the humanities within literature in order to establish a vantage point from which to assess alternative routes for valuation beyond economic narratives. The final chapter scrutinises the rise of the impact criterion within research assessment and places it within a wider context of market-led cultural policy (1980-90s). This thesis argues that reflecting on Victorian legacies of economism and public accountability enables us to reconsider contemporary valuation culture in higher education. This analytical framework is of benefit to future academic studies interested in the marketisation and valuation of culture, alongside literary studies that focus on the relationship between higher education, the individual, and the state.
Supervisor: Gagnier, Regenia Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Higher Education ; Humanities ; Value ; Neoliberalism ; Advocacy ; Victorian ; Policy ; Economics ; Literary Studies ; neoliberal university ; value of the humanities ; REF ; Impact ; Browne Report ; Matthew Arnold ; Stefan Collini ; Helen Small ; Value of Education ; Middlemarch ; George Eliot ; Jude the Obscure ; Thomas Hardy ; Zadie Smith ; Frank Parkin ; Accountability ; Critical Theory ; Research Evaluation