Peter Labuza, Ph.D.

Peter Labuza. Office: Online (via email/Zoom)

Dr. Peter Labuza (he/him) is a Lecturer at San José State University in film and media studies. He earned his Ph.D. in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of Southern California, and researches the legal, financial, and political history of creative industries. His dissertation, “When A Handshake Meant Something: Lawyers, Deal Making, and the Emergence of New Hollywood,” which won the best dissertation award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, traces how new legal professionals and deal makers reshaped creative labor and financial management in Hollywood after World War II. He is currently working on a project surrounding the transformation of cinema’s role in mass communication to personal expression as a reflection of economic reorganization in the postwar and the role of antitrust in shaping the pre-neoliberal economy.

Dr. Labuza has received numerous fellowships and grants supporting his research from an array of archives and disciplines, including in legal, business, Congressional, and Jewish history. He has published in The Velvet Light Trap, Mediascape, Film Quarterly, Sight & Sound, and The Los Angeles Review of Books, and has forthcoming articles in the Journal for Cinema and Media Studies, Film History, and Frameworks. He currently hosts the podcast Framing Media, where he brings peer reviewed scholarship from behind the paywalls to the public.

Dr. Labuza teaches on a wide array of topics, hoping students not only understand how film and media texts tell us stories but the backgrounds of their creation and dissemination. He emphasizes how law, finance, and the political economy define the relationship between labor and media industries, and where we can create equity to change whose stories get told.