Benjamin Woo is Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. He is the co-author (with Bart Beaty) of The Greatest Comic Book of All Time: Symbolic Capital and the Field of American Comics and the editor (with Stuart R. Poyntz and Jamie Rennie) of Scene Thinking: Cultural Studies from the Scenes Perspective, as well as several research articles and chapters on comics and graphic novels, geek culture, and subculture theory.
He is currently completing a monograph on contemporary geek culture as media-oriented social practice. Current research includes a project on labour in the comic book industry, as well as the What Were Comics? project with Bart Beaty and Nick Sousanis. His PhD dissertation (SFU Communication) was awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal in 2013, and he is a past recipient of the John A. Lent Scholarship in Comics Studies from the International Comic Arts Forum.
This year, he is teaching Carleton’s Intro to Communication and Media Studies course and upper-year and graduate courses on children, youth and media and audience studies. He is available to supervise Master's students working in the areas of comics and graphic novels, popular culture industries, and audience, reception and fandom studies. (For information on graduate studies at Carleton, visit the Communication and Media Studies website.)
As a younger man, Ben aspired to be a cartoonist. He submitted several embarrassingly naïve “pitches” to Marvel and DC while in elementary school, drew editorial cartoons and a newspaper strip in college, joined a webcomics collective, and published stories in The SPX Anthology and You Ain't No Dancer vol. 2 before “retiring” from comics to follow the much more secure career path of the academic researcher.