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


Dr. Lisa Parks is a Professor and former Department Chair of Film and Media Studies at UC Santa Barbara, and an affiliate of the Department of Feminist Studies. She also currently serves as the Director of the Center for Information Technology and Society at UC Santa Barbara ( Parks has conducted research on the uses of satellite, computer, and television technologies in different national contexts. Her work is highly interdisciplinary and engages with fields such as geography, art, international relations, and communication studies. She has published on topics ranging from secret satellites to drones, from the mapping of orbital space to political uses of Google Earth, from mobile phone use in post-communist countries to the visualization of communication infrastructures.

Parks is the author of Cultures in Orbit: Satellites and the Televisual, and Coverage: Aero-Orbital Media After 911 (forthcoming), and is working on a third book entitled Mixed Signals: Media Infrastructures and Cultural Geographies. She has co-edited three books: Down to Earth: Satellite Technologies, Industries and Cultures, Planet TV, and, and is working on a fourth entitled, Signal Traffic: Studies of Media Infrastructures. She has served on the editorial boards of 10 peer-reviewed academic journals and has contributed to many anthologies and edited collections.

Parks is currently a co-PI with Elizabeth Belding on a $1.2 million research grant from the National Science Foundation that involves collaborating with people in the Southern Province of Zambia to create wireless network solutions for rural communities. (For more information see: Parks has delivered invited lectures in Brazil, Germany, Bosnia, Hungary, Spain, Denmark, Slovenia, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Argentina, Qatar, Turkey, Sweden, Switzerland, and England, as well as in the U.S. In 2006/7 she was awarded a research fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study (Wissenschaftskolleg) in Berlin. She received her Ph.D. in Media and Cultural Studies from the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with a minor in Technology and Culture.

Research Publications

Down to Earth: Satellite Technologies, Industries and Cultures,

co-edited with James Schwoch, Rutgers University Press, 2012.
For more information visit:

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.

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

in Media Studies Futures,
Kelly Gates, ed. Wiley Blackwell, forthcoming 2012.

Technostruggles and the Satellite Dish: A Populist Approach to Infrastructure,”

in Cultural Technologies: The Shaping of Culture in Media and Society.
Göran Bolan, ed. London: Routledge, 2012.

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

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

“Mapping Orbit: Toward A Vertical Public Space,”

in Media Space, Public Space,
Chris Berry, Janet Hardon, Rachel Moore, eds. Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2012.

“Walking Phone Workers and the Reinvention of Mobile Telephone Infrastructure in Mongolia.”

The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities,
Peter Adey, et al, eds., forthcoming 2013.

Down to Earth:
Satellite Technologies, Industries, and Cultures

co-edited by Lisa Parks and James Schwoch
Rutgers University Press
forthcoming in 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

Planet TV Undead TV: Essays on Buffy
the Vampire Slayer

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