Assistant Professor

2020, PhD – E-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning, Lancaster University, UK.
2018, FHEA, Zayed University, UAE.
2004, MA – Applied Linguistics and TESOL, University of Leicester, UK.


Zoe Hurley earned her PhD in E-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning from Lancaster University. After growing up in London, she initially worked in television, film and the arts. She has taught in Malaysia, Brunei, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates and conducted research across the Gulf and in Socotra, Yemen. She has facilitated undergraduate courses in social media; media and cultural studies; interpretation, communication and design. Her scholarship expands semiotic perspectives of social media in relation to power, gender, visuality and the postdigital condition. She has written for leading journals including, New Media & Society; Feminist Media Studies; Social Media + Society; Information Communication & Society; Postdigital Science and Education; and Visual Communication. Her first monograph, published by Emerald Points, is titled Social Media Influencing and the City of Likes: Dubai and the Postdigital Condition. It considers Dubai’s microcelebrities, and ‘Instagrammable’ architectures, at the nexus of visible economies.


Dubai Academic City, F-L2-042


+971 4 402 1118

Teaching Areas

Feminist Semiotics, Visual Cultures, Social Media, Postdigital Condition

Research and Professional Activities

Hurley, Z (2022) COVID Casablanca’: A case of Dubai’s British social media influencers and postdigital intermedia geographies. New Media & Society 0(0). 

Hurley, Z (2022) Middle Eastern women influencers’ interdependent/independent subjectification on TikTok:feminist postdigital transnational inquiry. Information, Communication & Society, 1-18. 25:6, 734 751, DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2022.2044500

Hurley, Z (2021)    Arab women’s veiled affordances on Instagram: A feminist semiotic inquiry.Feminist Media Studies. DOI: 10.1080/14680777.2021.1986848

Hurley, Z, (2021) #reimagining Arab women’s social media empowerment and the postdigital condition. Social Media + Society, 7(2).

Hurley, Z, (2019) Imagined affordances of Instagram and the fantastical authenticity of female Gulf-Arab social media influencers. Social Media + Society, 5(1)