• 0.11 Arts and Humanities Building

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am happy to explore proposals around generation, activism, popular culture and political identities.

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Personal profile


Ben joined UEA in 2016 from Middlesex University where he taught media and cultural studies for ten years. Ben’s current research is on generation, activism and the politics of digital culture.

He takes a personality driven approach to his research areas, looking at the way in which celebrified figures are key cultural locations for the exploration of political complexity. He has co-authored two recent books in this vein:  Russell Brand: Celebrity, Comedy, Politics (with Jane Arthurs) was published in December 2016 by Palgrave; and in 2021 The New Patriarchs of Digital Capitalism: Celebrity Tech Founders and Networks of Power (with Alison Winch) looked at the men who own and run big tech companies like Facebook and Google. His PhD (2010) on the influence of 1980s British comic books on the politics of American comics culture won the John A. Lent scholarship for outstanding research in the field of comic art.

He teaches across politics and media modules in the Politics department, most notably a practice module called Activist Campaigning, which has seen students work with Greenpeace, Generation Rent and People and Planet on live campaigns. He is currently Associate Dean for Engagement and Innovation in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and co-lead on the Civic University Project.  

Ben is a co-editor of Soundings: A Journal of Politics and Culture which sits at the intersection of academia, activism and politics. He is currently editing the article series Soundings: Critical Terms for Contemporary Politics series with Deborah Grayson (Goldsmiths). He is happy to receive suggestions for articles in Soundings.

He believes firmly in collaboration as we shouldn't have to do difficult things on our own.