People / Faculty

Permanent Faculty

Nicole Starosielski

Summer Chair (June and July), Professor of Film & Media

Nicole Starosielski


7331 Dwinelle Hall

Tuesdays, 3-4pm; Wednesdays, 1-2pm


Nicole Starosielski conducts research on global internet and media distribution, communications infrastructures ranging from data centers to undersea cables, and media’s environmental and elemental dimensions. Starosielski is author or co-editor of over thirty articles and five books on media, infrastructure, and environments, including: The Undersea Network (2015), Media Hot and Cold (2021), Signal Traffic: Critical Studies of Media Infrastructure (2015), Sustainable Media: Critical Approaches to Media and Environment (2016), Assembly Codes: The Logistics of Media (2021), as well as co-editor of the “Elements” book series at Duke University Press.

Starosielski’s most recent project, Sustainable Subsea Networks, is focused on increasing the sustainability of digital infrastructures. The project team has developed a catalog of best practices for sustainability in the subsea cable industry—the backbone of the global internet—as well as a carbon footprint of a subsea cable. Starosielski is also a co-convenor of the SubOptic Association’s Global Citizen Working Group.

Starosielski teaches classes and supervises projects on digital media, environmental media, media and communications infrastructures, media history and theory, and integrated media theory and production, among other areas. 


Cover for Assembly Code. Title text superimposed on several tinted vintage photographs of communications workers.
Cover for Sustainable Media. Title is superimposed over a photo of a utility worker on a tall ladder working a telephone pole.
Cover for Signal Traffic. Book title appears superimposed on a photo of a low lit aisle in a large server room.
Media Hot and Cold Cover. Rows of television screens show the book title interspersed with various color and black & white images.
Cover for The Undersea Network. Semi buried underwater pipes are shown on a beach.

Selected Publications

Anne Pasek, Hunter Vaughan, and Nicole Starosielski. “The World Wide Web of Carbon: Towards a Relational Footprinting of Information andCommunication Technology’s Climate Impacts.” Big Data & Society. February 26, 2023.

Sustainable Subsea Networks Map (2023)

Erick Contag and Nicole Starosielski. “A Call for Connective Thinking.” Greener Data: Actionable Insights from Industry Leaders (Soul Excellence Publishing, 2022). 

Nicole Starosielski and George N. Ramirez. “Energy + Telecommunications: Bringing Together Two Worlds at the Cable Landing Station,” Submarine Telecoms Forum 123 (March 2022).

Nicole Starosielski and Nick Silcox. “A Blue Industry Going Green,” Submarine Telecoms Forum 122 (January 2022): 14-17.

The Ends of Media Studies.” Public Culture 33, no. 3 (September, 2021).  

Beyond the Sun: Embedded Solarities and Agricultural Practice.” South Atlantic Quarterly 120, no.1 (January 2021): 13-24.

“Grounded Speed and the Soft Temporality of Network Infrastructure.” In Axel Volmar and Kyle Stine, eds. Media Infrastructures and the Politics of Digital Time Essays on Hardwired Temporalities (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2021).   

The Elements of Media Studies.” Media and Environment 1, no. 1 (2019).

Thermal Vision.” Journal of Visual Culture 18, no. 2 (2019): 1-23.

Infrared.” Society and Space. Special issue on “Volumetric Sovereignty,” (April 2019).

Strangling the Internet.” Limn 10 (2018).

Resource-operations of the Ecological Digital Humanities.” PMLA 131, no. 2 (March 2016): 401-409.

Surfacing (2015), digital humanities companion project to The Undersea Network. Co-authored by Erik Loyer, Craig Dietrich and Shane Brennan.  

The Materiality of Media Heat.” International Journal of Communication 8 (2014): 2504-2508.

“‘Movements that are Drawn’: A History of Environmental Animation from The Lorax to FernGully to Avatar.” International Communication Gazette 73, no. 1-2 (2011): 145-163.

Things & Movies: DVD Store Culture in Fiji.” Media Fields Journal 1 (2010): 1-10.