Lisa Parks

Photo of Lisa Parks
Film & Media Studies



Professor, Department of Film & Media Studies


Lisa Parks, Ph.D. is Professor of Film & Media Studies at UC Santa Barbara, and past Director of the Center for Information Technology and Society. Her research explores uses of media technologies in relation to social power and geopolitics. Her work is highly interdisciplinary and engages with fields such as cultural geography, communication, international relations, science and technology studies, and art. Lisa is the author of Cultures in Orbit: Satellites and Televisual, and Coverage: Vertical Mediation and Counterterrorism.  She is working on a third book entitled Mixed Signals: Media Infrastructures and Cultural Geographies. She is co-editor of books including Down to Earth: Satellite Technologies, Industries and Cultures; Planet TV; and Signal Traffic: Critical Studies of Media Infrastructures. Lisa has held invited visiting appointments at the Institute for Advanced Study (Wissenschaftskolleg) in Berlin, McGill University, University of Southern California, and Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently a co-principal investigator on research projects funded by the NSF and the US State Department.


digital media; media; war and conflict; satellite technologies; media ecologies; infrastructures; surveillance; media activism; media and space


L. Parks. “Digging into Google Earth: An Analysis of ‘Crisis in Darfur,’” Geoforum, Vol. 40: 4, July 2009, pp. 535-545. Reprinted in Human Geography: Five Volume Set, Derek Gregory and Noel Castree, eds. Sage, 2012.

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, pp. 1-24.

S. Mains, J. Cupples, et al, eds.“Vertical Mediations and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq,” Mediated Geographies/Geographies of Media, Springer, 2015.