William Smith, Associate Professor


William F. Smith II is an Associate Professor at the College of Communication and Media Sciences, Zayed University, UAE. His educational background is based and focused in alternative and interdisciplinary institutions. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy—summa cum laude, from The European Graduate School (EGS) at Valais, Switzerland, later holding the title of Antonin Artaud Fellow. He received a Master of Arts in Media Studies from The New School for Social Research in New York City, and Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.

William’s professional industry career began in San Francisco and the Silicon Valley where he led several independent entrepreneurial projects during the innovative transition from analog to digital. Those experiences ultimately led to the founding of a boutique agency in Seattle which focused on integrated and highly creative solutions for companies finding their footing in the new digital era. One of his first projects in Seattle, was the launching of Amazon.com in 1995. Other clients included tech companies Squaresoft (Ninetendo), Sierra Online (Activision), Microsoft, and major sports companies like Connelly Skis & Wakeboards, K2, Heavy, Bell Sports, Diadora.

While working on a film project in Japan, William was offered an opportunity to teach at a university in the Tokyo area. During the last fifteen years, he has taught in Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand, and UAE. His academic career includes leading a start-up program in Emerging Media in Shanghai, and the Campus Dean of a China-USA joint-partnership in Beijing. Four years prior to joining Zayed, he was Program Director in at a university in Dubai.


Associate Professor


Terminal degree


Awarding Institution

The European Graduate School at Valais, Switzerland

Research/Creative Areas

Current trajectories build around themes of critical media studies, aesthetics, and how our lives are influenced by technology, as well as the disruptive nature of technology and the overarching implications of communication on society—social and cultural phenomena, especially in the context of social transformation and global issues that are impacted by the mediascape. Within this context, creators of media consider the overarching implications on society resulting from technological immersion by mapping communities, cities, and/or relationships.

Teaching Areas

Emerging Media, Transmedia Storytelling, Media for Social Innovation, Media Theory, Digital Tools & Processes

Professional links