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Yael Warshel

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by Rob Peeler Sep 12, 2018
Yael Warshel

Assistant Professor of Telecommunications

Department of Telecommunications

Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications

Research Associate in the Rock Ethics Institute

119 Carnegie Building
University Park, PA 16802

Office Phone: (814) 865-3717

Biography:

Yael Warshel is an assistant professor in the Department of Telecommunications and research associate in the Rock Ethics Institute, where she leads an initiative about Children, Youth, and Media in International and Global Conflict Zones. She works at the intersection between international media, child, and conflict analysis, practice, and policy specializing in what she has coined as “peace communication”. She is fluent in and/or has studied five languages and conducted fieldwork in the Middle East, North and Sub-Saharan Africa, the Balkans and Latin America. 

An award-winning scholar, Dr. Warshel is the recipient of three top dissertation awards, including two in global and international communication and one in peace studies, together with several more awards in communication, public service, Middle Eastern and African studies. She is completing a book determining the efficacy of peace communication interventions in managing political conflicts that uses as its case her multi-year reception study of peacebuilding versions of Israeli and Palestinian Sesame Street. Her summary TEDx talk of the book is available here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssVfMB_-eI8 Alongside it, she is continuing fieldwork about the human and communication rights of stateless and forcibly-migrated and –sedentarized conflict zone affected populations through her interpretations of North West African youth's global uses of digital media, and separate of that, continuing to research the comparative determinants of international coverage of conflicts, per the contrast between frames and agendas set, and magnitude and intensity of conflicts. She serves on the board of the American Institute for Maghrib Studies and as Chair of E-Book Reviews for the Digest of Middle East Studies. She critically consults practitioners and policymakers about the findings from the intersections between her research areas and has been quoted by a broad range of media sources.

Before joining Penn State, Dr. Warshel taught at UCLA, UCSD, and American University as an Assistant Professor of International Communication and Associate Faculty of International Peace and Conflict Resolution. She coordinated communication policy for UNESCO, worked as a photojournalist with the ZimbabweInterAfricaNewsAgency, and conducted policyrelevant research with the Center for International Development and Conflict Management, the Jerusalembased Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace, the Center for Middle East Development, and the Center for Research on Peace Education. She earned her Ph.D. in communication from UC San Diego, MA in communication from the Annenberg School of the University of Pennsylvania, and BA in interdisciplinary studies from UC Berkeley, which she combined with a photography major from the USC School of Cinema-Television.

Research Interests:

Peace communication and social change; comparative and global African, Middle Eastern and Saharan media (including systems, ethics, practices, uses, reception, effects and contexts); children and ethnopolitical conflict; ethnography of violence; public opinion; citizenship/human rights; borderlands and (forced-) migration; social-psychology; assessment and evaluation.

Selected publications

The Ethical Conduct of Research About Conflict Zones’ Children and Childhoods. NEOS: Child Displacement Special Section, October 2018.

Social Media and Middle Eastern Politics. In Harvey, K. (Ed.). Encyclopedia of Social Media and Politics. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2014.

Mamafakinch: Moroccan citizen journalism collective. In Harvey, K. and J. G. Golson (Eds). Encyclopedia of Social Media and Politics. Sage, 2014.

Anthropology of Children and Youth Interest Group Newsletter, October 2013. Photos from the Field (Syrian Alawi Family Leisure Practices).

It’s all about Tom and Jerry, Amr Khaled and Iqra, Not Hamas’s Mickey Mouse: Palestinian children’s cultural practices around the television set. Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication, 5 (2) 211-245, 2012.

The contributions of communication and media studies to peace education. In E. Cairns and G. Salamon. (Eds.) Handbook on Peace Education. New York: Psychology Press (formerly published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates), 2010 (with Donald Ellis).

“As though there is peace:” Opinions of Jewish-Israeli children about watching Rechov Sumsum/Shara’a Simsim amidst armed political conflict. In Lemish, D. and Gotz, M. (Eds.) Children and Media at Times of Conflict and War, Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2007.

"Election Studies: What’s Their Use?” Boulder, Co: Westview, 2001 (Co-editor with Elihu Katz).