Peter Labuza 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” traces how new legal professionals and deal makers reshaped creative labor and financial management in Hollywood after World War II. The work was awarded the Society for Cinema and Media Studies prize for Best Dissertation, and also cited as a finalist for the Herman E. Krooss Prize for Best Dissertation in Business History. He is currently working on numerous further research projects, including a study of non-elite antitrust lawyers and their relationship to the New Left, and another on the economic reorganization of media industries in the postwar and the financial incentives for “culture wars” around film and media. He is also currently researching current antitrust policy related to Hollywood and Big Tech.
Labuza received his PhD from the University of Southern California in 2020, and currently teaches at San José State University. He has received numerous fellowships and grants supporting his research from an array of archives and disciplines, including in Legal History, Business History, Jewish History, the History of Congress, Foreign Relations, and more. He has published in Journal for Cinema and Media Studies, Film History, Enterprise & Society, Framework, The Velvet Light Trap, Film Quarterly, Sight & Sound, the Los Angeles Times, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. He has also made media appearances discussing his work in The New Republic, Slate, The Bulwark, The American Prospect, and more,
Outside of his academic work, Labuza is the author of Approaching The End: Imagining Apocalypse in American Film, and served as a booklet editor for the UK Blu-Ray distributor Masters of Cinema. He has contributed to Variety, The Village Voice, Reverse Shot, The AV Club, Little White Lies, Indiewire, Filmmaker Magazine, and RogerEbert.Com among others.
This site serves as Peter’s general resume and CV to work he has done. All writing and research can be found via the page links on the left.
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