Lisa Parks

Professor of Comparative Media Studies; Professor of Science, Technology and Society; Director, Global Media Technologies & Cultures Lab

E15-322 617-253-3599

Lisa Parks is a media scholar with interests in media history, theories of globalization, and science and technology studies. Her research focuses on three areas: satellite technologies and global media cultures; critical studies of media infrastructures; and media, militarization and surveillance. She is committed to exploring how greater understanding of media systems can assist citizens, scholars and policymakers in the US and abroad to advance campaigns for technological literacy, creative expression, social justice, and human rights.

Parks is the author of Cultures in Orbit: Satellites and the Televisual (Duke UP, 2005) and Rethinking Media Coverage: Vertical Mediation and the War on Terror (Routledge, 2018). She is co-editor of: Life in the Age of Drone Warfare (Duke UP, 2017), 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), and Planet TV: A Global Television Reader (NYU, 2003).

Parks is a 2018 MacArthur Fellow and has held visiting appointments at the IKKM at Bauhaus University in Weimar, the Institute for Advanced Study or Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin, McGill University, University of Southern California, and the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. She has been a PI on major research grants from the National Science Foundation and the US State Department, and has collaborated with artists, geographers, and computer scientists.

Before joining the MIT faculty, Parks was Professor and former Department Chair of Film and Media Studies at UC Santa Barbara, where she also served as Director of the Center for Information Technology and Society.



Current Debates in Media

Surveillance Cultures

Media, Machine Learning, & AI

Major Media Texts

Recent Books


Rethinking Media Coverage: Vertical Mediation and the War on Terror

Lisa Parks

In the post-9/11 era, media technologies have become increasingly intertwined with vertical power as airwaves, airports, air space, and orbit have been commandeered to support national security and defense. In this…


Life in the Age of Drone Warfare

Lisa Parks

This volume’s contributors offer a new critical language through which to explore and assess the historical, juridical, geopolitical, and cultural dimensions of drone technology and warfare. They show how drones generate…