Episode 9: Benjamin Woo

download mp3

On this episode of “It’s a Thing!” I talk with Dr. Benjamin Woo about comic books, conventions, race and whiteness in fandom and fan studies, and the study of geek cultures.

Show Links


Dr. Benjamin Woo
Dr. Ien Ang
Dr. Bertha Chin
Dr. Alfred Martin
Dr. Rukmini Pande
Dr. Rebecca Wanzo


Woo, Getting a Life: The Social Worlds of Geek Culture
Ang, Desperately Seeking the Audience
Ang, Watching Dallas: Soap Opera and the Melodramatic Imagination
Ang, On Not Speaking Chinese: Living Between Asia and the West
Huynh & Woo, “‘Asian Fail’: Chinese Canadian Men Talk About Race, Masculinity, and the Nerd Stereotype
Pande, Squee from the Margins: Fandom and Race
Wanzo, “African American Acafandom and Other Strangers: New Genealogies of Fan Studies

Terms, Concepts & the Rest

Swarming Comic-Con 2021 Project


Lori Morimoto: Hi, and welcome to “It’s a Thing!”, the podcast where we talk about fan studies and how it’s a thing. I’m your host, Lori Morimoto.


LM: On this episode of “It’s a Thing!”, I’m talking with Dr. Benjamin Woo, an associate professor of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University in Toronto, and author of Getting a Life: The Social Worlds of Geek Culture. So stick around!


LM: Ben, I want to thank you for joining me today. It’s really fun and exciting to be able to talk to you.

Ben Woo: Well, thank you so much for the invitation. I can’t think of a better way to pass the time during quarantine.

LM: How is quarantine going so far?

BW: You know, it’s all right, actually. You know, I’m obviously very, very lucky to be able to say that, but as an inside kid, I feel like I’ve been preparing for this my entire life.

LM: I can sympathize with that. I’ve been feeling pretty much the same way. So, to get started, I wanted to ask you a question that I ask everyone who comes on the podcast, and that is, how did you first get into Fan Studies? What was your introduction to the field?

BW: Well, I think that my introduction to the field and me getting into it were two separate processes. I took a kind of combination degree in film studies and sociology when I was an undergraduate student trying to kind of jury-rig together a Cultural Studies or Media Studies program at my university, which at the time didn’t have that available as as an option. And I think I went into it imagining that I would work in media as a creative, or marketing, or something – which is, you know, a very common kind of aspiration for students in those kinds of majors. But I gradually found myself getting more and more interested in the academic side of things all along. And so, somewhere in there, I would have been introduced to fan studies as part of kinds of surveys of theory and methods in the field.

BW: So, my introduction to it would have been, as part of the kind of new audience studies of the 80s and 90s, the kind of cultural studies-inflected versions of researching media audiences. In terms of how I started doing it myself, at that time, I think that I was more interested in being a kind of formalist theory head for a while, and I I tried on that identity a bit when I was doing my master’s degree. And I wrote a thesis that I ultimately was not satisfied with or happy with at all. I didn’t feel like it said the kinds of things that I wanted to say. And so, at the end of that process, I was reflecting, “Where do I go from here? What do I want to do next?” And it seemed that a big part of why that thesis was not satisfying to me was that I made a lot of claims about what certain texts meant. And I didn’t feel confident that that’s what they really meant, or at least really meant for everybody. And so the turn to talking to audiences, and in particular, fans sort of seemed like the natural way of addressing that problem. And that was the way that I found myself getting into doing fan studies.

LM: As you were making that shift away from a theory-centric approach to audiences to a more ethnographic one, were there any fan studies works in particular or audience studies works in particular that especially informed your transition?

BW: That’s a great question. Obviously, like many people that you’ve spoken to on this podcast, Henry Jenkins’s book, Textual Poachers, was really a big part of that. Certainly that was, I am 99% sure, without digging through maybe old archives on a dusty hard drive somewhere, that that would have been what was assigned to me in those undergraduate classrooms when I said I was first introduced to fan studies. I think that Ien Ang’s work has also been really a really big part of how I’ve come to see audiences and fans interacting with us. Particularly, I think, in Desperately Seeking the Audience, where Ang really helps understand, or helped me understand, the way that creating knowledge about or claiming to speak on behalf of audiences is this really important process that media industries do, that journalists and critics do, that particular individual audience members do, that, that we’re all trying to do? You know, I think that that’s really where I’ve seen a lot of … my own work is really built on that insight. I think,

LM: You know, I’m really glad actually, that you brought up Ien Ang. She’s somebody who has also been, you know, deeply influential on my thinking in fan studies as well, and yet, she doesn’t get a lot of airtime as it were. And I just, you know, as a plug, Desperately Seeking the Audience, the Dallas book, as well, has – that’s the one for me that really sort of cemented a lot of ideas. And perhaps because she’s working in the transnational frame, I don’t know, but I’m really glad that you brought her up.

BW: Yeah. And I’ll say, too, like, it’s not super relevant for fan studies specifically, but her book On Not Speaking Chinese, is something that was personally a really influential and impactful book.

LM: I wonder if you could speak to that a little bit, actually, if you don’t mind. And I ask in part because Bertha Chin, who is also a fan studies researcher, has also talked about how influential that book has been to her personally, and I was wondering if you could just speak a little bit to what about it spoke to you?

BW: Well, I think there’s a lot of pieces of that and, you know, I think this might end up being a bit tangential, but we’ll see where it goes. You I mean, the first thing is obviously, if people don’t know this from my last name, I’m a biracial Chinese Canadian person. And so, you know, I was raised in a household by a, you know, one Chinese parent, but I did not learn to speak Chinese and grew up in contexts where I was often the only Asian person, or certainly the only East Asian person, in my classes and things like that. And, you know, I think that that book really captures well the experience of people imputing certain abilities or attributes to someone based on their appearance, without a kind of recognition of their own individual history, and the kinds of frictions that that can cause, I think it captures really well.

BW: And I think it’s also a really interesting attempt at grappling with the politics of multiculturalism in this context. You know, most of the essays in that book were written after she relocated to Australia. I feel like, in many ways, Canada is not that different in terms of the sense of a growing visibility of people of color and people with cultural backgrounds from outside of Europe that likes to signal their presence in many ways, but hasn’t really grappled with what it means to have people like us as part of the fabric of this nation.

LM: Well, that brings up actually an interesting aspect of some of your work. I know that you’ve written extensively in your book on popular culture, consumption, uses, and so on more broadly, but you’ve also written a bit about race, and specifically race in the context of fan studies. And that seems in some ways to dovetail a bit with what you’re saying about multiculturalism in national societies, local societies. And I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about your interest in race as part of a fan studies conversation, and if you see any carryover or overlap between your own experiences within a “multicultural society,” and what you see happening in fan studies?

BW: You know, there’s so many different threads that are tangled up in that in that question, and so I’m trying to think about how I want to take them apart and tackle it. Definitely, there is a biographical or experiential dimension to why I’m interested in the question of this, you know. And I think, again, speaking to that experience of being one of a small number of visible minority people, and particularly an East Asian person, you know, I think that when I was young, it was really easy to subsume my sense of my racial difference into a subcultural identity as a geek or a nerd, right? I’m not a big person. I have a pretty small frame. I’ve always been that way. I have terrible vision, and I’ve always had to wear thick glasses. I have asthma, right. So there were many ways in which I really fit into that nerdy stereotype. And there’s an article I’ve written with my friend and colleague, Ken Huynh, where we talk a little bit about the ways that there’s this slippage between stereotypes or attributes associated with Asian and especially East Asian identities and the kind of nerd stereotype. So, those things came together. And so, for a long time, I think that I understood my own proximity to whiteness as a way of kind of subsuming that into my sense of myself as a nerdy kid who liked comic books and role playing games and things like that.

BW: And then I moved to a big city that had a substantial minority population. When I went to grad school in Vancouver, where the city is roughly 50% non-white, with that sort of split between East Asian and South Asian large minority communities, and finding that the racial politics there were very different than in the smaller towns and suburbs that I’d grown up in. And that paradoxically, being somewhere where there were a lot more people who looked like me meant that the racial dynamics were much more vitriolic and on the sleeve, and that it turned out that I wasn’t just a nerdy kid, I kind of had to discover my political and racial subjectivity as an Asian person in that context, where suddenly I’m receiving street harassment about real estate prices as I walk around my neighborhood. And so, you know, I think that that similar sense of people thinking that a fan community is this kind of open space where race doesn’t really matter, and then discovering like, oh, no race really matters, still, is kind of mirrored in that experience a little bit. And I think I would say Rukmini Pande, in her book, Squee From the Margins, really captures a lot of that dynamic really well. And so that’s why I think, why I’m interested in and concerned about thinking about the role of race in fandom – the sense that it’s lurking there, but we don’t really acknowledge it. And part of what we’re, we need to do is, as fan studies researchers, is engage with that, or at least account for it when we try to make sense of what we see happening.

LM: Yeah, that was something that Alfred Martin brought up, as well, when I interviewed him a few podcasts back – this, the importance of naming whiteness, and that was something which your essay, “The Invisible Bag of Holding,” also speaks to. In your own work, how do you incorporate sort of that broader sense of, we’re not just talking about white people, or conversely, we’re just talking about white people here, and we need to acknowledge that?

BW: I mean, I’ll be the first to say, imperfectly. You know. I think this is a journey that all of us who have been trained within an academy that, like fandom, like my own experiences, right, promises to the world that it is an open space where individual contributions and talent matter more than any other kinds of accidents of birth, but actually is deeply, deeply structured by whiteness and white privilege and white supremacy. In that same way, you know, all of us are getting over the fact, or struggling to get over the fact that the citations that we reach for are the ones that we were taught in grad school, because we’re most familiar with them. And those are overwhelmingly the work of white people, white men, straight people, cis people, etc. Right? So, I want to first say that I don’t see myself as a paragon or a leader or, like, that I have solved this.

BW: I think one of the the troubling things that I found when researching and writing my book, for example, is that I wanted to talk more about race, but I found it something that my interview subjects tended to try to avoid when I brought it up. That they sort of dodged the questions and would take refuge in the idea that well, you know, the people in our community that come to our fan club meetings or shop at the store, their demographic breakdown is basically the same as the surrounding community and the city at large. And maybe that’s true. But we also know that there’s lots of opportunity for cognitive bias that lead us to overestimate the number of minority people, just as men tend to overestimate the number of women in a group. So, definitely the sense that I got from people was that they didn’t know how to tell a good story about race in the way that when I talked to comic book store owners and game store owners and managers, they had a good story that they could tell about gender. That, you know, “Well, when I started in the hobby, there weren’t a lot of women or they, you know, were marginalized in these ways, but it’s getting better, and I can point to these sort of pieces of evidence,” not to say that gender has been solved in geek culture communities obviously, but they, you know, they had a story that they could tell that made them and their patrons and their businesses and their hobbies look good. And I don’t think they had a story to tell about race. And that people felt that, you know, they were worried about saying the wrong thing or using the wrong terminology. And so they just tried to avoid the conversation.

BW: So, as a result of some of those experiences of trying to get people to talk about race and failing, I think that’s where I started saying, “Well, can we talk more about whiteness, and maybe whiteness as this kind of overarching structure,” and one that, as I think I’ve sort of suggested in my own life, you know, that some of these communities sort of think of themselves as symbolically white, so that even people of color participate in comic book fandom or role playing games, right, have this kind of, there’s this whiteness associated with those hobbies that is independent of or in addition to the identities of the actual people. who are participating in them?

LM: Yeah, that makes sense. That makes sense. Rukmini Pande actually talked with me for an essay that I was writing, and in that she talked a bit about her own fandom trajectory and kind of coming to a recognition, she said, you know, because she was online, because she was conversant in certain discourses, you know, fandom discourses and so on, she could, you know, “pass” for white in fandom. And it was only when she started coming into contact with other fans of color, who were actively calling out instances of racism and things like that, that she began to incorporate that into her fandom identity as well. And so, that idea of symbolic whiteness seems especially useful in terms of thinking about how whiteness operates, both within fandoms and within fan studies as well.

BW: Yeah, and you know, obviously Rukmini has been a huge leader in advancing this conversation within the field, both through research and publications, but also as a presence and an advocate in our conferences and spaces and so on. I think that there’s an essay in Transformative Works and Cultures by Rebecca Wanzo from a few years ago that, for me, also was just a huge revelation in terms of connecting the idea of the whiteness of fandom also to the particular kinds of fans and fan practices that we choose to study. And that question of, would the picture of fandom that fan scholars draw look so white if we incorporated other communities and other practices into our embrace of what we count as Media Fans?

LM: Yes, absolutely. And that essay is “African American Acafandom and …”

BW: “Other Genealogies”? Does that sound right?

LM: Yeah. I will link to it, but it is open access, so I encourage listeners to have a look at it if you haven’t already. Speaking of your sort of, your own background as a fan, how – what is that trajectory for you? How did you become a fan? And what kinds of things have you done as a fan?

BW: Well, as I’ve already alluded to, I think for me the big thing has always been comic book fandom. So … I mean, and comic book fandom is an interesting thing, because we tend to sort of rewrite its history a little bit in our biographies. Because most of us comic book fans are or were at some point, superhero comics fans, but we get exposed to superheroes before we get exposed to comic books, right, in cartoons and action figures and all of that stuff. So I have fleeting memories of of watching episodes of Superfriends on television, He-Man and, you know, these kinds of superhero genre media before I ever picked up a comic book. But to me, they all kind of bled together and became part of the same story of fandom. So, I started reading comic books after finding these kinds of discount packs of them that were for sale in a sort of cheap department store chain we had in Canada when I was a kid called BiWay. It was one of these things where you would get three or four comics, and they would come in a plastic envelope so you could only see the covers of two of them and you didn’t know what else was inside. And that was my introduction to comics, to slightly out-of-date DC comic books, that I started reading as a kid when I could convince my parents to pick one up for me when we were at the BiWay.

LM: About how old were you?

BW: I would say that that was probably somewhere around the age of eight to 10.

LM: Oh, okay.

BW: When I started reading those. So Superman comics from the mid to late 80s was sort of how I got into things, and I didn’t, the towns that I grew up in as a kid didn’t have specialty comic bookstores, or at least if they were I didn’t know about them, and I couldn’t convince my parents to take me to them. So my reading of comics was always kind of a bit out of date and at a remove. So, either I was finding ways to get comics that were a little bit behind, that had been out of circulation for a while, or I was reading about things that were happening in the world of comics through magazines like Wizard, which, you know, was very much a particular representation of what it means to be a fan in that magazine. So yeah, my primary fandom is comic book fandom.

BW: But, I think that that experience was different from some other comic book fans, because I didn’t have that kind of immediate access to to the the texts themselves, and obviously somewhat different from our our peers and colleagues that come into fan studies from a background in what we call media fandom, more generally, because I think comic book fandom, in my experience, features all sorts of forms of communalized consumption. There are ways of making our practices of consumption feel like they involve participating in a community, but they are less community-oriented compared with, I think, fanfiction communities around television shows, for example.

LM: Sure. Since you started reading in the 1980s, and then, you know, we have this sort of move of fan practices, fandom communications and stuff online, what was your own transition to online fan culture? Well, I’m actually making an assumption – did you transition to any form of online fan culture post-1980s?

BW: Well, I think that my biggest involvement in online communities around comics were actually in creator communities more than fandom communities. But, we were all kind of small-scale aspirant creators. Some of those people in those web forums that I was part of in the late 90s and early 2000s have gone on to successful careers as comic book creators and other kinds of artists. But, at the time, you know, our identities were sort of amateur, aspiring creators who still very much had a foot in our in our fandom. So, for me, yeah, it was some of those spaces where people who were interested in drawing comics, which I’ll confess now I was one of – I wasn’t very good at it and set it aside eventually. But those were the spaces where I sort of stepped into online fandom most.

LM: Where did that kind of community, for lack of a better word, where – what kinds of platforms or forums did that coalesce in?

BW: So, there were a handful of forum sites, right, so bulletin board or forum sites that I was involved in there. Several of them grew out of communities around kind of individual or a small group of artists having a webpage, and then they created a forum and a community grew around that. So, I think while I was in high school, I participated on a forum that was organized by, on the website, personal website of a young animator, and there were a number of folks in that community that have gone on to quite successful careers as artists and cartoonists. And then, as I myself became more of a creator, there were a couple of collectives of web comics creators where community sort of coalesced on their bulletin boards.

LM: Yeah. Okay. Is there anything that you’re into in particular right now?

BW: Well, I am, I have made my way back to monthly comic book buying after sort of a period away from that for some time. So, you know, I’m very excited about the fact that there is a monthly Legion of Superheroes comic book again, that takes me back to my early 80s DC comic book reading experiences very much. So, that’s great. I mean, I’m excited in general about the tremendous flowering and diversity of comics that are now available. You know, superheroes still hold us place in my heart. But, it’s by no means the only only thing I read. And it’s exciting that there are so many options available now, though, obviously, with the pandemic, this is a bit of a scary time for the comic book industry, and for the creators that make it make it work. I have also, like many people, returned to tabletop role playing games in a big way over the past few years, and sort of relearning that hobby now under pandemic conditions, my groups are all sort of putting a toe into virtual tabletop systems and things like that, and trying to figure out how we continue to play this game, that we’re so used to thinking of as a kind of face to face experience, in an online environment.

LM: Yeah. So, I wanted to shift gears just a little bit and talk about your relatively recent book, which is called Getting a Life: The Social Worlds of Geek Culture. And in a lot of ways, I think what you did in the book reflects some of the aspirations of this podcast, and that is to make accessible, to explain ideas about popular culture consumption that a lot of people, especially non academics, but also academics, are unfamiliar with. So for you, what was the biggest sort of takeaway that you wanted your book to have for readers?

BW: Well, let me say first, I mean, thank you so much for that very generous description of the book. You know, I think that while this is a dissertation book, it’s published by a university press, so, obviously, I wanted it to have all of that level of rigor in method, theory, and argumentation, and so on. I did also want it to be a readable book, a book that would be accessible and enjoyable for someone other than just academics to pick up and, you know, maybe part of that, again, comes back to certain things that I learned from my own participation in geeky communities, right? The kind of playfulness of language and taking pleasure in that. So, there’s not a section title that I wrote where I didn’t think about what terrible pun or illusion I could I could work into it. There’s a joke hidden in the index, right? These are the kinds of things that I sweat over when I was putting the book together. But, I think in terms of what I wanted to do with the book, or the kind of intervention that I wanted the book to make, you know … I mean, one of the things about writing about media consumption, one of the things that’s challenging about writing about media consumption, is that everybody’s an expert on media consumption. I mean, we all do it. So we all have some experience doing it. The trick is, I think … so, a book like this isn’t going to tell anybody something that they don’t know, right? Certainly the people who participate in these communities are going to read the book, and I don’t think there’s anything that can be a revelation in terms of, you know, I honestly had no idea about X, Y, or Z, but it’s about trying to give it sort of a new context or give people a new language for thinking and talking about these familiar worlds that they participate in. There’s the old saw in anthropology that, you know, the job of an ethnography is to make the familiar strange and the strange, familiar.

BW: And so, you know, I think in part that was what I was trying to do with the book, to say that there are these things that many of us take for granted, either because we’re so involved in them that they’re just part of our everyday life and are unremarkable, or if we’re not part of a community of tabletop role playing games, or comic book fans or cinephiles, or whatever, it’s not really on our radar. And so, we don’t think much about it. And so, to take those worlds that seem banal or trivial, and really use them as a lens for exploring the ways that people give meaning to their, their lives, and you know, to do something that is, you know, really just basically fundamentally human through the lens and with the means of mass media. So, I think that the story of the book is really an attempt to write a different narrative about our relationship with media. You know, this is not a surprise to people in our field maybe, but one thing that strikes me is how often you know, we – and by we, I guess any kind of dominant cultural narratives – tell stories about media that are about isolation and individuation, you know, and that there’s a whole parade of new media forms that have been blamed for breaking up communities for separating people, for alienating people from from other folks. And the story that I think fan communities, geek cultures, and so on, give us is a different take on that, right? That these media might be isolating, might be individuating in some cases, but there are also ways that we can build communities that are really important.

LM: Yeah, no, I yeah. I really appreciate that perspective. And I think you’re right, and it’s a discourse that doesn’t go away, this one of media consumption being something that atomizes us, rather than has at least the potential to bring us together.

BW: Yeah, I mean, the way that it just kind of shifts on to different media or different cultural practices. And so, then people get nostalgic for the communities created by the media that they used to blame for individuating. And-

LM: Right.

BW: I mean, you know, I think that I guess probably cinema is a perfect example right now, right at this moment where we can’t go to movie theaters, right? The way that people talk about the [unclear], but everyone’s just watching television in their homes or watching movies at home, now. What about the experience of of watching a film together in a theater? And not to knock that obviously, but it’s quite surprising when you go back a couple decades and see people talking about well, but movies are so individuating and isolating because you’re alone in the dark, looking at this big screen, and so on and so on.

LM: Right, right. Since publishing the book, and especially now, what are you, what are your sort of research interests focused on?

BW: At present the projects that I’ve been working on lately have really been focusing on comic book and fan convention cultures. So, one of the things that has interested me is that there’s a lot of research on fan conventions, or fans at conventions, that mostly focus on what it’s like to be in those spaces and what people are doing there. And that work is is really good and very strong. But it’s often seemed to me like we’re missing a little bit of the picture of how does that space get created in the first place. And so, the projects that I’ve been working on, and these are all collaborative projects that have been supported by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, so, I’m certainly not the only person involved in this. But what we’ve been trying to do is get a better picture of the ways that the individuals and the organizations that mount and run those conventions play this really important intermediary role in between media industries and their audiences. So, one project that we’ve been working on has two convention organizations as partners on on the research. And so, in addition to having the really valuable input of their owners and managers at the phase of designing survey questions, and helping us to sort of target those more, more effectively, what we’ve also been able to do is embed a research assistant in each of those organizations over the planning cycle for one of the shows, to do, you know, an organizational ethnography of how those events come together, what some of the struggles that they face are, how they kind of do that complicated work of negotiating between the different interests that are sort of refracted through the events that they run.

LM: Oh, nice. That’s, that sounds like a terrific project. I’m looking forward to seeing the results of it.

BW: Yeah. I mean, it’s it’s one of those projects that it’s hard to know when or how to finish it exactly. Right? It’s one of those projects you could just like, keep collecting data on forever. Keep, you know, and we keep finding certain new pieces of it that we want to investigate more. And so, it kind of keeps getting bigger and bigger. But you know, eventually it will come to an end, we’ll figure out what we’ve learned.

LM: Are you looking at all the impact of COVID-19 on those conventions?

BW: So, obviously, that’s something that was not planned as part of the research. But certainly I am, you know, I’m wanting to see what we can do to at least archive and capture as much as we can at this moment, as you know, press releases are coming out and people are commenting on sort of how things are going. Unfortunately, you know, a lot of the impacts themselves landed at a time when we ourselves were very busy for us here in Canada. You know, the shutdown orders came when we had three weeks left in the semester. So, we’re kind of in the midst of our end-of-term grading and things like that. But as we sort of look to the summer, and I think particularly as some of the, like, summer and fall events are going to have to start making their decisions, or I mean, I suspect in most cases, those decisions have already been made, the thinking – trying to figure out how best to make those announcements, I should say, you know, I think there’ll be a lot to document and capture. And you know, and I think that, speaking to the point you made earlier, how much of these kinds of activities maybe move online, what kinds of experiments there are in trying to make up some of the functions that these conventions have come to play for, obviously, for the marketing of media industries, but also for the livelihoods of individual creators, crafters, artisans, small business, people that use those conventions in very particular ways?

LM: Yeah. Now I’m even more interested in seeing what you come up with eventually.

BW: Yeah, certainly. We picked an interesting time to be in the midst of a project on conventions.

LM: Yeah. So, I usually wrap this up by asking everyone, again, the same question, and that is, if you could tell people who are unfamiliar with fan studies any one thing about it, if you could communicate to people any one thing about fan studies, what is it that you would like people to know?

BW: So, this is the question I’ve been dreading the whole time, ever since you invited me to be on this podcast, because it feels like I, you know, I need to come up with something so profound and, and, and deep and important and encapsulating an entire field that’s so diverse, and that the biggest thing you’ve already stolen with the title of your podcast, right? It’s like, it is a thing, that there are experts on these things, right? I mean, so often you see arguments or claims floated in the media, in everyday speech, where, you know, everyday discourse, where people are making claims about people’s relationships with media, about how media influence or affect them, or or don’t, and I just wish that sometimes they would come talk to us as well, that we do know these things, we know something. And then, maybe the flip side of that is, if I had one thing I wanted to say to, you know, other fan scholars or people who are coming up in the field is to not forget that, you know, the rest of the social sciences exist, too. And that making sure that we are exploring these really important questions in dialogue with our our colleagues across a range of disciplines, so that they can learn from us and that we can learn from what they’re doing.

LM: Yeah, no, I think that’s a terrific point. And one that is near and dear to my heart as kind of an interdisciplinary scholar. So, thank you very much for that. And thank you for taking the time to talk with me today. I know that our schedules, the sense of time has just turned into something completely different right now. And so, I appreciate you taking the time to talk with me.

BW: No, it’s been it’s been really great. Thank you.


LM: That’s all for this episode of “It’s a Thing!” Next time, I’ll be talking with Dr. Ross Garner, a lecturer at Cardiff University and author of the upcoming book, Nostalgia, Digital Television and Transmediality. I hope you’ll join me then.

Music: “Neck Pillow,” by Silent Partner

To cite (Chicago): Morimoto, Lori. 11 May 2020. “Benjamin Woo.” Podcast audio. It’s a Thing! MP3, 1.9. [Accessed Date]. https://itsathing.net/2020/05/11/episode-9:-benjamin-woo