Professor Ben Whaley

Dr. Ben Whaley

Pronouns: He/Him

Contact information

Phone number

Office: 403.220.3482


Office: CHD425

Preferred method of communication

Available for contact by email and phone.


Educational Background

B.A. (Honors) Japanese, Stanford University, 2007

M.A. Asian Studies, University of British Columbia, 2012

Ph.D. Asian Studies, University of British Columbia, 2016


Ben Whaley is Associate Professor of Japanese in the School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures at the University of Calgary. His research focuses on contemporary Japanese popular culture and modern Japanese literature.


Areas of Research

Japanese Videogame Studies

Social anxieties and traumatic events as simulated in contemporary Japanese videogames. 

Manga Studies

The oeuvre of Japan’s “God of Manga” Tezuka Osamu. Ethno-racialization and narratives of the Holocaust in postwar manga.

Modern Japanese Literature

Narratological analysis of modern Japanese literature of trauma by minority writers.

Participation in university strategic initiatives


Course number Course title Semester
JPNS 423 Advanced Manga Studies Winter 2024
EALS 501 Advanced Research in Japanese Studies Winter 2022
JPNS 317.02 Japanese Cinema Fall 2021
JPNS 325 Japanese Videogames and Gaming Culture Fall 2018
JPNS 323 Critical Approaches to Manga and Anime Fall 2020
JPNS 327 Modern Japanese Literature in Translation Winter 2021
JPNS 201 Introduction to Japanese Popular Culture Fall 2021


Drawing the Holocaust: Jewish Identity in Postwar Manga

This ongoing project is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Japan Foundation. It examines Jewish identities and narratives of the Holocaust in postwar manga.

Toward a Gameic World: New Rules of Engagement from Japanese Videogames

This book bridges the gap between Japanese popular culture studies and game studies by examining four contemporary Japanese video games in terms of how they engage with some of Japan’s biggest social anxieties and traumatic events. It is Volume 100 in the Michigan Monograph Series in Japanese Studies by the University of Michigan Press.  


  • Outstanding Early Career Teacher Award, University of Calgary - Faculty of Arts. 2019
  • Teaching Award for Full-Time Academic Staff (Nominated), University of Calgary. 2020
  • Teaching Excellence Award (Nominated), University of Calgary - Students' Union. 2020

In the News

More Information

Follow me on Twitter @Ben_Whaley