Yael Warshel


Yael Warshel

Assistant Professor

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  • 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


  • Ph.D.: University of California-San Diego
  • Master's: University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School for Communication
  • BA study: University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television (on-leave from UC Berkeley)
  • Bachelor's: University of California-Berkeley



Yael Warshel is an assistant professor of telecommunications, Rock Ethics Institute core faculty, and affiliated faculty of international and comparative education, and Middle Eastern studies. 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 one in peace studies and two in global and international communication, which she received from the International and National Communication associations. She has also earned several more awards in communication, public service, Middle Eastern and African studies, including a teaching award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

She is advancing a book manuscript assessing the reception of peacebuilding versions of Israeli and Palestinian "Sesame Street;" continuing fieldwork to analyze North West African forcibly-migrated and -sedentarized youth's uses of digital media to construct their citizenship; and separate of that, about the comparative determinants of international coverage of conflicts, per the contrast between frames and agendas set, and the magnitude and intensity of conflicts. She serves on the board of the American Institute for Maghrib Studies (AIMS) and as Chair of E-Book Reviews for the Digest of Middle East Studies. She critically consults international media practitioners and policy makers about the efficacy of using media to make peace, 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 photojournalist with the Zimbabwe‐Inter‐Africa‐News‐Agency, and conducted policy‐relevant research with the Center for International Development and Conflict Management, the Jerusalem‐based 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, an M.A. in communication from the Annenberg School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor's in interdisciplinary studies from UC Berkeley, which she combined with a photography major from the USC School of Cinema-Television.


In the News


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).

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Yael Warshel
115 Carnegie Building
University Park, PA 16802