Zoe Hurley has a PhD in E-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning from Lancaster University, United Kingdom (UK). She began her career in London and has taught in Malaysia, Borneo and Kuwait, before coming to the United Arab Emirates in 2013.

Prior to academia, Zoe has worked in art, television production and journalism. She is an interdisciplinary scholar, and her research focuses on visual social media, gender empowerment and technology enhanced learning. Her writing is informed by semiotics, postcolonial feminism and the postdigital condition. She has published in journals including, Social Media + SocietyVisual Communication, Social Semiotics, Educational Philosophy and Theory. She has written commentaries for Al Fanar Media and Times Higher Education. Zoe has presented at regional and international conferences including, ICA, Washington, 2019. In 2018, she was awarded Best Research Paper Award at MANIPAL, International Media Research Conference, MANIPAL Academy of Higher-Education, Dubai, UAE. In the same year, she received Best Paper Award at the International Conference on Emerging Research Paradigms in Business and Social Sciences, Middlesex University, Dubai, UAE.

As well as being an administrator in student academic advising, Zoe teaches undergraduate courses in social media and new media writing. She is a Fellow of HEA, UK; member of the Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning (CTEL), Lancaster University, UK; Association of Internet Researchers; and International Association for Semiotic Studies. In addition to her academic output, Zoe has conducted research for organisations on topics such as social media influencers and visual branding as well as hosting a digital exhibition exploring Arab women’s social media.


Assistant Professor

Assistant Dean for Student Affairs



Terminal degree


Awarding Institution

Lancaster University, United Kingdom.

Research/Creative Areas 

Visual social media. Semiotics and pragmatism. Feminist postcolonial approaches to postdigital living and learning. Augmented reality.


Teaching Areas

Social media theory and practice.  Communication, media and society. Principles of strategic communication. Strategic communication campaigns. Writing for new media. Intercultural communication. Public speaking. English for academic and professional purposes.

Professional links