Photo of Russill, Chris

Chris Russill

Associate Professor
    Phone:613-520-2600, ext. 7415
    Building:Richcraft Hall, Room 4316
    Department:School of Journalism and Communication


    Chris Russill is an Associate Professor and Graduate Supervisor of Communication Programs in the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. He is Editor of the Canadian Journal of Communication, and an Associate Editor of Science and Environmental Communication. He also serves on the boards of Environmental Communication, Palgrave Studies in Media and Environmental Communication, and Communication Undisciplined.

    Dr. Russill edited Earth Observing Media, a collection of images and articles from leading scholars on Google Earth, digital globes, drones, radar, sonar, GPS, missiles and satellite imaging, and is co-editing Critical Approaches to Climate Change and Civic Action with Anabela Carvalho and Julie Doyle.

    Dr. Russill completed his Ph.D. in communication at Penn State, and his M.A. and B. A. at York University in Toronto. He is a former fellow at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, and a founding member of the International Environmental Communication Association and Carleton Climate Commons.


    Dr. Russill studies how media shape our sense of environmental crisis – and how new kinds of environmental crisis are given technological, cultural, and political expression. His current work explores how “the planetary” has emerged as an object of scientific inquiry, software design, visualization, political regulation and cultural interpretation, and how “the planetary” challenges the ecological, geographical and political frameworks that usually mediate our relationship to environmental crisis. He has also collaborated with open hardware and applied sustainability expert, Dr. Joshua Pearce.

    You can find an interview with John Durham Peters on the Anthropocene, the planetary, and the digital here:

    Here is an interview on the Anthropocene with Alan Neal of “All In A Day” (CBC):

    Here is a rambunctious discussion of the planet as a medium held during the Media/Epistemology/Power symposium in North Carolina with media theorist, Kate Maddalena:

    A podcast with CBC journalist and Carleton alumni, Sherry Aske, as we sort through earth monitoring media after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma:

    Recent Publications

    Wall, J. T. and Russill, C. 2018. Climate Change is an Ornery Beast: Visual Culture, Denial, and Fort McMurray. In P. McCurdy (ed.), The Beast: Making a Living on a Dying Planet. University of North Dakota Press. Pp. 25-38.

    Russill, C. 2018. The ‘Danger’ of Consensus Messaging: The Importance of Shifting from ‘Skeptic-First’ to ‘Migration-First’ Approaches. Frontiers: Science and Environmental Communication.

    Russill, C. 2018. Tipping Point. The Companion to Environmental Studies. eds. Noel Castree; Mike Hulme; James Proctor. London: Routledge.

    Russill, C. 2017. Is the Earth a Medium? Situating the Planetary in Media Theory. GEO-issue, CTRL-Z

    Russill, C. 2017. The Media Without Us: Review of John Durham Peters’ The Marvelous Clouds. Culture Machine.

    Maddalena, K. and Russill, C. 2016. Is the Earth an Optical Medium? International Journal of Communication, 10, 3186-3202.

    Russill, C. 2015. Climate Change Tipping Points: Origins, Precursors, and Debates. WIREs Climate Change, 6, 4, 427-434.

    Russill, C. 2015. Earth Imaging: Photograph, Pixel, Program. In S. Monani and S. Rust (Eds.), Eco-media. New York: Routledge. Pp. 228-250.

    Russill, C. 2015. The ‘Climate’ of Communication: From Detection to Danger. In S. Dalby and S. O’Lear (Eds.), Reframing Climate Change. New York: Routledge. Pp. 31-51.

    Russill, C. 2015. Planetary Pragmatism. Language Under Discussion, 2, 1, 27-34.

    My writing on 350, Whale Wars, and Climate Central, an experiment with climate change TV, can be found here: