Asymmetries of the Vertical: Mediating the War on Terror from 9/11 to Trump

Lisa Parks
Comparative Media Studies, MIT

February 16th
Curtin Hall 175

Lisa Parks’ keynote address will address power issues in drone warfare and vertical power relations in the Trump era.  Media technologies and cultures have been organized to reassert US vertical hegemony after 9/11 in order to access and control the vast stretch of space between the earth’s surface and the outer limits of orbit. Vertical hegemony cannot simply be achieved “out there” in open skies. Rather, it is communicated and materialized on earth through vertical mediation as audiovisual forms that enact, materialize, or infer conditions or qualities of the vertical field.

The talk will feature material from her upcoming book, Rethinking Media Coverage: Vertical Mediation and the War on Terror.

Lisa Parks is a global media scholar whose research focuses on three areas: satellite technologies and media cultures; critical studies of media infrastructures; and media, militarization and surveillance. She is Principal Investigator for MIT's Global Media Technologies and Cultures Lab.

Brown Bag Lunch Seminar
Friday, February 16
Curtin 939
12 noon – 1:30 pm

Parks will be discussing her 2016 article “Reinventing Television in Rural Zambia” about fieldwork she did on media distribution in rural Zambia. She’ll discuss asymmetry in relation to media technologies and flows around the world, and resourceful practices adopted by local users in developing communities. In February, Parks will also be returning from a fieldwork trip to Tanzania on new media infrastructure, and will also discuss methodological issues and relations between researchers and informants.