University of Calgary

Ben Whaley

  • Assistant Professor


Ben Whaley is assistant professor of Japanese. His research and publications examine discourses of race, ethnicity, and national identity in contemporary Japanese popular culture (manga and videogames) and modern Japanese literature. 

He received his doctorate in modern Japanese literature and popular culture from The University of British Columbia in 2016.

Ben's forthcoming book Toward a Gameic World: New Rules of Engagement from Japanese Video Games (U of Michigan P) asks how games might bring about profound positive changes in who we are as people. It examines the ways in which Japanese video games engage with social issues and national trauma while prompting players’ emotional engagement, critical self-reflection, and development of real-world skills.   

Other research interests include his SSHRC-funded project on the representation of Jewish identity and the Holocaust in postwar manga, the corpus of Japan's "God of Manga" Tezuka Osamu, and modern Japanese literature of trauma by minority writers.

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