Lisa Parks is Distinguished Professor of Film and Media Studies at UC Santa Barbara. She is a media scholar whose research focuses on multiple areas: satellite technologies and media globalization; critical studies of media infrastructures; media, militarization and surveillance; and environmental media. Parks is the author of Rethinking Media Coverage: Vertical Mediation and the War on Terror (Routledge, 2018) and Cultures in Orbit: Satellites and the Televisual (Duke U Press, 2005). She is co-editor of Life in the Age of Drone Warfare (Duke U Press, 2017), Signal Traffic: Critical Studies of Media Infrastructures (U of Illinois Press, 2015), Down to Earth: Satellite Technologies, Industries and Cultures (Rutgers U Press, 2012), Undead TV (Duke UP, 2007), and Planet TV: A Global Television Reader (NYU Press, 2002). She is currently working on two new books, On Media: Twenty-one Lessons for the Twenty-first Century, and the co-edited volume, Media Backends: The Politics of Infrastructure, Clouds, and Artificial Intelligence.
Parks is Director of UCSB’s Global Media Technologies and Cultures Lab, which she initiated at MIT. Parks is a 2018 MacArthur Fellow and has held other fellowships and visiting appointments at the International Research Center for Cultural Techniques & Media Philosophy (IKKM) at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, Institute for Advanced Study (Wissenschaftskolleg) in Berlin, McGill University, University of Southern California, and the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. She has been a Principal Investigator on major grants from the National Science Foundation and the US State Department, and has collaborated with artists and computer scientists. She is committed to exploring how greater understanding of media systems can inform and assist citizens, scholars and policymakers in the US and abroad to advance campaigns for technological literacy, creative expression, social justice, and human rights. Before returning to UCSB, Parks was Professor of Comparative Media Studies and Science, Technology, and Society at MIT.