Benjamin Woo’s research on the growing influence of comic cons and geek culture has earned him the prestigious Early Researcher Award from the Province of Ontario.

The Early Researcher Awards program gives funding to new researchers working at publicly funded Ontario research institutions to build a research team. Professor Woo will receive a grant of $100,000, with an additional $50,000 matching grant from Carleton towards his research.

“I am grateful to the Province of Ontario for the opportunity to explore this subject further,” said Professor Woo. “Comic conventions, festivals and related fandom events exert a massive influence on pop culture and the entertainment industry. I will be studying the place that comic books, their creators and their audiences hold within these events, which are ostensibly organized by and for comic book fans but which in practice serve a range of stakeholders and audiences.”

Woo is the author of Getting a Life: The Social Worlds of Geek Culture and the Director of the Comic Cons Research Project, a SSHRC-funded research partnership at Carleton University. He is also the president of the Canadian Society for the Study of Comics.

Early Research Award funding will enable him to recruit a team of student collaborators who will receive hands-on experience in media industry and audience research. Together, they will examine comic book reading in the context of comic cons using a mixed-methods approach. He sees the project as part of a hub for comics research in Ontario.

“Benjamin Woo’s research has identified an important – yet insufficiently explored – niche in Communication and Media Studies and we are proud to have him in the Faculty of Public Affairs,” said André Plourde, Dean of the Faculty. “His work is helping policy makers and citizens understand this oft-overlooked, but influential, segment of our society.”

Read Carleton University’s profile of Benjamin Woo.

Thursday, October 17, 2019 in , , ,
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