Areas of Expertise
Media law; global news; international broadcasting; social movements; Middle Eastern politics and society; Arab-American studies, media and terrorism
William Lafi Youmans is an assistant professor at the George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs. Broadly interested in questions of transnationalism, power and communication, his primary research interests include global news, law and politics. His other areas of interest include researching terrorism, American international broadcasting, Middle East politics and Arab-American studies.
Dr. Youmans wrote a book, “Unlikely Audience: Al Jazeera's Struggle in America” (Oxford UP, 2017), about the Qatari news network's efforts to gain a share of the news market in the United States.
He is regularly quoted in outlets including Salon, the Washington Post, Newsweek, Variety and The New York Times, among others. He also appears on radio and television programs including CBC Radio, WAMU (NPR), Headline News, Al Jazeera English and ARD. Dr. Youmans has published a regular column for the Gulf News and authored articles in the Washington Post, Middle East Report and Nieman Journalism Lab.
His paper on CIA recruitment in Arab Detroit won the 2013 Best Paper award in the International Communication Section of the International Studies Association. It was published in early 2017 in The Communication Review.
Dr. Youmans presents at academic conferences including the annual gatherings of the Middle East Studies Association, the International Communication Association, the National Communication Association, the International Studies Association and the American Sociological Association.
Ph.D., Communications Studies, University of Michigan, 2012
J.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2003
B.A., Political Science, University of Michigan, 2000
“Intermedia Framing and Intercultural Communication: How Other Media Affect American Antipathy Toward Al Jazeera English.” Co-authored with Katie Brown. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research (2012), 41(2), 173-191.
“A New Purpose for International Broadcasting: Subsidizing Deliberative Technologies in Non-transitioning States.” Co-authored with Shawn Powers. Journal of Public Deliberation (2012), 8(1), Article 13.
“Social Media and the Activist Toolkit: User Agreements, Corporate Interests, and the Information Infrastructure of Modern Social Movements.” Co-authored with Jillian York. Journal of Communication (2012), (62) 2, 315-329.
“The Debate over Al Jazeera, English in Burlington, VT.” Arab Media & Society (2011), Issue 13, Summer.
SMPA 2173, Media Law
SMPA 3469, International Communication
SMPA 6205, Media, Development and Globalization