Apryl Williams

Apryl Williams
  • University of Michigan
  • Assistant Professor of Communication and Media
  • Faculty Fellow (2021-2022)
  • "Fat Black Body Politic"

Apryl A. Williams is jointly appointed as Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication & Media and the Digital Studies Institute at the University of Michigan. Her research interests converge at the intersection of popular culture, internet culture, race, gender, and technology. Williams uses a Black feminist lens to probe the intersection of body size and race in online identity movements across digital platforms. Her research draws on critical cultural theory, media studies scholarship, and sociological perspectives to explore the growing acceptance of body positivity and concurrent counternarratives.

Williams’ research has been published in leading interdisciplinary journals including Social Media + Society, Information, Communication & Society, the International Journal of Communication, and the Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. She also serves as Series Editor of Emerald Studies in Media and Communications where she has co-edited five books on aspects of digital culture such as international media flows, digital inequalities, and digital publics. Williams is also serving as guest editor for a special issue on Digital Life and COVID-19 at the American Behavioral Scientist journal. Her research has also been covered in Time Magazine, Slate, NPR’s On the Media, The Guardian, and other notable popular communications outlets.

In addition to her appointment at NDIAS, she was recently co-awarded Mississippi State University’s Research to Advance Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access grants program to study the impact of privatized surveillance on communities of color in the U.S. Williams is also a Faculty Associate at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society and an Affiliated Researcher at NYU’s Center for Critical Race and Digital Studies.