Hollywood film studio
Credit: Christian Joudrey for Unsplash

Hunter Vaughan has published a new chapter in the Routledge Handbook of Media Geographies.

In a new chapter for the Routledge Handbook of Media Geographies, Hunter Vaughan explores a range of environmental effects of primarily US screen media history and practice, from ways in which media practices impact specific biomes to how film and media industry history and textual tactics coincide with the perception of—and action surrounding—environmental issues.

Beginning with a literary overview, this chapter offers a chronological genealogy of the relationship between major screen media industries and cultures—including those surrounding cinema, televisual and digital media technologies—and popular understandings and values regarding the environment, as well as major environmental issues from conservation to climate change to environmental racism and issues of environmental justice.

Moving beyond the conventional analysis of how screen texts represent biomes, wildlife and environmental issues through narrative and aesthetic practices, this chapter focuses on ways in which screen media cultures (and especially the recent emergence of a globally predominant digital media industry) impact the environment and extend the environmental and social justice violations of global capitalism in material ways: from the snaking of cables across the ocean floors to the orbiting of signal satellites in the Earth’s atmosphere, from destructive precious metal mining practices to profit-driven mass production on the labor lines of manufacturing campuses, to the Western outsourcing of e-waste to previously colonized and consequently higher-at-risk nations where workers (largely children and women of color) endure carcinogenic processes of melting, recycling and disposing that lead to mortal diseases and poison ground waters.

Read the chapter

About Routledge Handbook of Media Geographies

This Handbook offers a comprehensive overview of media geography, focusing on a range of different media viewed through the lenses of human geography and media theory. It is edited by Paul C Adams, Barney Warf.