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 is the author of three books on media law and history: Laws of Image: Privacy and Publicity in America (Stanford University Press, 2015); Newsworthy: The Supreme Court Battle Over Privacy and Press Freedom (Stanford University Press, 2017); and Confidential Confidential: The Inside Story of Hollywood’s Notorious Scandal Magazine (Chicago Review Press, 2018). She is currently at work on a biography of civil liberties lawyer Morris Ernst, forthcoming with the University of Chicago Press. 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).