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Ben Saunders specializes in the poetry and drama of the English Renaissance and the history of British and American comics and cartoons. His first book, Desiring Donne, explores the intersection of spirituality and sexuality in the poetry of John Donne alongside larger questions of literary theory and hermeneutics.  Desiring Donne was shortlisted by Choice magazine as an "Outstanding Academic Title" of 2006 and selected as a Finalist for the Oregon Book Award that same year, and continues to be cited in contemporary scholarship on early modern literature and sexuality.  His second book, Do The Gods Wear Capes?, focuses on modern American superhero comics—arguing that superhero fantasies tell us a great deal about about our conceptions of the human, the post-human, and the divine.  Do The Gods Wear Capes has been widely cited in academic contexts and mainstream journalism; the "groundbreaking" chapter on bondage imagery in Wonder Woman comics is often singled out for particular praise.  He has also published a number of scholarly articles on a variety of topics, from the plays of Shakespeare to the Peanuts comics of Charles Schulz, and co-edited a collection of essays on popular music, Rock Over The Edge, with Roger Beebe and Denise Fulbrook.In addition, Professor Saunders is Series Editor for the Penguin Classics Marvel Collection, a multi-volume set of books presenting key stories from the Marvel Comics archive in a scholarly context for the first time—with detailed introductions, critical analyses, and other supplementary materials.  The first three volumes of the series were selected among the "month's best paperbacks" by The Guardian and reviewed positively in such prominent venues as The Atlantic, The Independent, The A.V. Club, and Rolling Stone, as well as numerous comics-news websites.  He is also known for his curatorial work.  Between 2009 and 2016, he curated three exhibitions for the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, including a major tribute to EC Comics; and since 2018, he has served as Chief Curator for "Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes"—a massive multi-media exhibition featuring props, costumes, sculptures, interactive touchscreens, and many pages of rare original comic book art.  "Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes" opened at the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) in Seattle to glowing reviews; it subsequently transfered to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia to similar acclaim, and has since continued to tour across the USA, attracting well over a million visitors.  In 2022, Professor Saunders conceived and co-curated "Beyond Amazing: Spider-Man — The Exhibition" with independent scholar and pop-culture journalist, Patrick A. Reed, for the Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park, San Diego.  This show received extensive media coverage and was relaunched in 2023 at Union Station in Kansas City, MO, with additional engagements planned.  He has also collaborated with Professor Charles Hatfield of CSUN on a retrospective exhibition exploring the work of Jack Kirby—co-editing the accompanying catalog/critical anthology, Comic Book Apocalypse, which features appreciative essays on Kirby by a diverse group of comic-artists, filmmakers, writers, and scholars; and in 2021, he collaborated with UO Professor Katherine Kelp-Stebbins on the "The Art of the News," an innovative, hard-hitting show devoted to the new media form of comics journalism—co-editing the lavishly produced accompanying book.  This book was nominated for an Eisner Award (the highest professional honor in the comics industry) in 2023, in the category of "Best Comics Related Publication." An award-winning teacher, Saunders founded the University of Oregon Undergraduate Minor in Comics and Cartoon Studies (the first undergraduate minor of its kind in the country).  His wider teaching and research interests include literary theory, Anglo-American poetry and poetics, queer theory, genre fiction, and twentieth-century popular music.  He used to moonlight occasionally as an actor and musician and he still enjoys singing with friends and family whenever the opportunity arises.  Public Speaking And MediaProfessor Saunders has lectured at universities around the English-speaking world and is a frequent guest speaker at comic-book conventions across the United States.  In 2011 he served as a judge for the Eisner Awards (the comic-book industry Oscars) and in 2012 and 2022 he was a Special Guest at the San Diego Comic Con.  He is frequently interviewed for radio, television, and podcasts about comics culture, and contributed to the History Channel documentary, Superheroes Decoded.  He is also featured in the independent documentary on Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, Drawing Monsters (2022), alongside such luminaries as Neil Gaiman, Ron Perlman, and Rebecca Sugar, among others.To contact Professor Saunders with regard to an interview or speaking engagement please send a detailed email to the address above.