Ben Saunders, Department of English; Comic and Cartoon Studies

Ben Saunders

Director, Comics and Cartoon Studies Minor
Practice Areas: Comic Studies, Pop Culture, English Literature

Faculty bio | (541) 346-9134

Ben Saunders is an academic expert in comic and cartoon studies, pop culture and English literature. He co-founded and directs the minor in Comic and Cartoon Studies, the first undergraduate minor of its kind in the country. Ben is in constant demand as a speaker at comics conventions and has lectured on everything from contemporary literary theory to the history of pornography to 1950s rock and roll. 

Recent Media: 
Superman vs. Spider-Man is back. DC and Marvel are reprinting coveted crossover comics (CNN, March 1, 2024)
Can Brits save the Fantastic Four from another flop? (BBC, Feb. 16, 2024)
Here's how 'Iron Man' built the modern Marvel Cinematic Universe in 5 phases (Yahoo Entertainment, May 3, 2023)
A look behind the curtain at the curation of OMSI’s latest Marvel exhibit with Ben Saunders (The Oregonian, Oct. 18, 2022)
Comic-Con Museum Celebrates 60 Years Of Spider-Man With New Exhibit (Forbes, June 30, 2022)
Superhero Lit 101: Why Penguin Classics’ Marvel Comics Anthologies Matter (Rolling Stone)
Penguin Classics teams up with Marvel Comics in historic first (Bloomberg, March 31, 2022)
From Thor's hammer to Iron Man sketches: COSI Marvel exhibit reminds people of hero in all (The Columbus Dispatch, Nov. 23, 2021)
MSI reopens to the public with ‘Marvel’-ous exhibit (Chicago Sun-Times, March 2, 2021)
Stunning exhibit of rare Marvel items finally ready for Henry Ford Museum visitors (Detroit Free Press, July 15, 2020)
The 1950s queer black performers who inspired Little Richard (The Conversation, May 19, 2020)
VIDEO: How America Made And Destroyed Superman (Al Jazeera, May 8, 2020)
The Marvels of Comics (Around the O, March 19, 2019)
Interview: Ben Saunders, Chief Curator, Universe of Super Heroes - Telus World of Science Edmonton (GeekNerdNet, Feb. 9, 2020)
Why studies Watchmen in school? Academics praise the highly teachable graphic novel (SYFY Wire, Nov. 11, 2019)
Nearly 20 years after 9/11, is America too cynical for superheroes? (Deseret News, Sept. 10, 2019)
Marvel Universe exhibit at Franklin Institute opens this weekend, and legions are expected to attend (The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 10, 2019)
UO prof helps put the marvel in a Marvel Comics exhibit (Around the O, March 20, 2019)
Fans find superheroes relevant in US political, social debate (Voice of America, July 25, 2018)
Marvel’s heroic comic and film history revealed in first look inside super-sized new MoPOP exhibit (GeekWire, April 19, 2018)
MoPOP’s ‘MARVEL: Universe of Super Heroes’ is super fun for comics nerds and novices alike (Seattle Times, April 18, 2018)
Prepare to geek out at the new MARVEL exhibit at MoPop (KING 5, April 18, 2018)
Marvel Announces Giant Immersive Exhibit Launching This Spring (Forbes, Nov. 14, 2017)
Comics U (Oregon Public Broadcasting, Oregon Art Beat, March 30, 2017)
Too Many Words: 15 fantastic books to help you learn about comics (blastr, May 12, 2016)
Raising Eyebrows (Eugene Weekly, May 12, 2016)
Steve Duin: The enduring art of EC Comics (The Oregonian, April 20, 2016)
Superman kicked aside for darker superheroes (Deseret News, Oct. 3, 2015)
Comic-Con: pop culture party goes global (The San Diego Union-Tribune, July 4, 2015)
Holy scholarship! (Cascade Magazine, Winter 2015)
The real problem with Superman’s new writer isn’t bigotry, it’s fascism (The Atlantic, Feb. 19, 2013)
VIDEO: The birth of the superhero (University of Oregon, Jan. 23, 2013)
Superheroes on display at UO comics exhibit (The Oregonian, Oct. 19, 2009)