Samantha Barbas researches and teaches in the areas of legal history, First Amendment law and mass communications law. Her work focuses on the intersection of law, culture, media and technology in United States history. Her recent research has explored the history of the law of privacy and defamation.
Barbas holds a Ph.D. in American history from the University of California, Berkeley, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. She was previously an assistant professor of history at Chapman University, a visiting professor of history at U.C. Berkeley, and a lecturer at Arizona State University. She clerked for Judge Richard Clifton on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Barbas' book, The Laws of Image: Privacy and Publicity in America, on the history of libel and privacy, was published by Stanford University Press in 2015. Another book, on privacy and freedom of the press, Newsworthy: The Supreme Court Battle Over Privacy and Press Freedom, was published by Stanford University Press in 2017. Barbas is also the author of Movie Crazy: Fans, Stars, and the Cult of Celebrity (Palgrave Macmillan 2001) and The First Lady of Hollywood: A Biography of Louella Parsons (University of California Press 2005).