Lisa Parks

Professor of Film & Media Studies

Curriculum Vitae

1998 Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison-
Department of Communication Arts, Media and Cultural
Studies Program, Minor: Technology and Culture


2431 Social Sciences & Media Studies



Media Theory, Broadcast History, Science and
Technology Studies, Global Media, Cultural Studies


Lisa Parks, Ph.D. is Professor and former Department Chair of Film and Media Studies (2008-2011) and served as Director of the Center for Information Technology and Society (CITS) at UC Santa Barbara from 2012-2015. Parks has research expertise in the areas of media history and theory, media and globalization, media arts and activism, digital cultures, experimental methodologies, and feminist criticism. She has written extensively about satellites as cultural technologies, and her current research is focused in two related areas: media infrastructure studies; and media, security and surveillance studies. An interdisciplinary scholar rooted in the humanities, Parks’ research engages with fields of geography, international relations, science and technology studies, communication, and art. Parks is the author of Cultures in Orbit: Satellites and the Televisual (Duke UP, 2005), Coverage: Vertical Mediation and the War on Terror (Routledge, forthcoming), and Mixed Signals: Media Infrastructures and Cultural Geographies (in progress). She is co-editor of: Signal Traffic: Critical Studies of Media Infrastructures (U of Illinois, 2015), Down to Earth: Satellite Technologies, Industries and Cultures (Rutgers UP, 2012), Undead TV (Duke UP, 2007) Planet TV: A Global Television Reader (NYU, 2003), and another in progress entitled Life in the Age of Drones (under contract, Duke UP). Parks has held visiting appointments at the Institute for Advanced Study (Wissenschaftskolleg) in Berlin, McGill University, University of Southern California, and the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. During the past decade, she has led international grant-funded research collaborations in Europe, Africa, and Central Asia, working with computer scientists, social scientists, artists, and local partners. Parks has delivered invited lectures in more than twenty-five countries and is currently a PI on major research grants from the National Science Foundation and the US State Department. She teaches such courses as Television History; Advanced Film Analysis; Social Media; Surveillance Cultures; Global Media; Media Historiographies; Women and Film; and War and Media.

Lisa Parks’s website


L. Parks.

“Earth Observation and Signal Territories: Studying U.S. Broadcast Infrastructure through Historical Network Maps, Google Earth, and Fieldwork,”

special issue on Earth Observing Media, Chris Russill, ed.,
Canadian Journal of Communication, Vol. 38, 2013.

L. Parks.

“Footprints of the Global South: RascomQAF/1R and Venesat-1 as Counter-hegemonic Satellites,”

in Handbook of Global Media Research,
Ingrid Volkmer, ed. Wiley Blackwell, 2012, 123-142.

L. Parks.

“Infrastructural Changeover: The US Digital TV Transition and Media Futures,”

in Media Studies Futures, Kelly Gates, ed.
Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.

L. Parks.

“Mapping Orbit: Toward a Vertical Public Space,”

in Media Space, Public Space,
Chris Berry, Janet Hardon, Rachel Moore, eds. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, 61-87.

L. Parks.

“Zeroing In: Overhead Imagery, Infrastructure Ruins, and Datalands in Afghanistan and Iraq,”

in The Visual Culture Reader 3.0,
Nicholas Mirzoeff, ed., Routledge, 2012.

Signal Traffic:
Critical Studies of Media Infrastructures

co-edited by Lisa Parks and Nicole Starosielski

University of Illinois Press
May 2015

Down to Earth:
Satellite Technologies, Industries, and Cultures

co-edited by Lisa Parks and James Schwoch
Rutgers University Press
June 2012

Cultures in Orbit:
Satellites and the Televisual

by Lisa Parks (Author)
Duke University Press

Planet TV: A Global Television Reader

by Lisa Parks (Author), Shanti Kumar (Author)
New York University Press

Undead TV: Essays on Buffy
the Vampire Slayer

by Elana Levine (Editor), Lisa Parks (Editor)
Duke University Press


History of Television (101E)

Advanced Film Analysis (96)

Media Art & Activism (190VA)

Social Media (187SM)

War and Media (187WM)

Women and Film (163)

Satellite Media (113SM)

Critical Approaches to Location Scouting (113LS)


Television and New Media Theory (241)

Media Historiographies (231)

Surveillance (242S)

Technology & Society Gateway seminar