Professor Barry King

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Professor, Communication Studies

Phone: +64 9 921 999 extn 9626


Physical Address:
Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies,
DC 63,
WG 1018
2 Governor Fitzroy Place
AUT City Campus,
Private Bag 92006,
Auckland 1142, New Zealand
Postal Address:
Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies
D63, AUT University,
Private Bag 92006,
Auckland 1142,
New Zealand


  • BSc Social Science (First Class Hons)
  • PhD in Sociology

Memberships and Affiliations:

  • Editorial Board of Celebrity Studies
  • Assessor, Australian Research Council
  • Assessor, Flanders Research Council ( FWO)
  • Member, International Editorial Board, Persona Studies
  • Chair, Popular Culture Working Group, International Association of Communication Research (IAMCR)
  • Reviewer, Reconstuction on-line journal
  • Editorial Board, Pacific Journalism Review


Barry King received his Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Social Science from City University, London and his PhD in Sociology from the London School of Economics. He has taught in the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden and New Zealand.

He is the author of a number of articles and publications that address issues such as mass media and social identity, Reality TV as a form of life, Stardom and celebrity, Acting and digital stardom, creative labour and sign theory, New Zealand Film Policy and New Zealand culture, stardom and inequality. He was the lead researcher on the Ministry of Culture and Heritage funded project on Television Violence in New Zealand, co-author of the book: Studying the Event film: Lord of the Rings (Manchester University Presss) and the author of Taking Fame to market ( Palgrave Macmillan. He is the Director of, the Performance Research Centre in the School of Communication Studies.

Teaching Areas:

  • Celebrity Culture
  • Contemporary Hollywood Cinema Media Research Methods
  • Visual Sign Analysis

Research Areas:

  • Stardom
  • Theories of Creative Labour
  • Acting Theory and Performance
  • Visual Sign Analysis and Semiotics
  • Commodification and Culture

Current Research Projects:

VITA Virtual instructor and Training Avatar) developing a mirror avatar that will capture and reproduce the facial expressions of users, enabling them to refine their own performance and impression management.

The Actor survey – the social organization of acting and actor attitudes to performance as work in New Zealand and the UK.


Recent Publications:

  • Barry King, (2015) Celebrity and technology, Companion to Celebrity, edited by David Marshall and Sean Redmond, Wiley, in press.
  • Barry King, (2014) Taking Fame to market: Pre-Hollywood and Post-Hollywood Stardom, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Barry King and Rosser Johnson (2013) Celebrity and Scandal, Pacific Journalism Review, Vol 19, 2, October 2013.
  • Barry King, (2011) Articulating Digital Stardom, Celebrity Studies, Vol 2, 3, p247-262, November 2011.
  • Barry King, (2011) On the New Dignity of Labour, Special Issue of Ephemera on Digital Labour.
  • Barry King, (2010) The New Zealand Film Commission as a government sponsored film producer. The Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society, 40, 157-163.
  • Barry King, (2010) The Lord of the Rings as a cultural projection in G. Elmer and Charles Davis, (eds) Migrating Media, Rowman and Littlefield.
  • Barry King (2010) Stardom, Celebrity and the Money form, Velvet Light Trap, Issue 65, Spring 2010
  • Barry King (2009) The Star and the Commodity, The Contemporary Hollywood Reader, Toby Miller (ed)  Routledge 2009.
  • Barry King, (2009) NZ Idol: A Global format in a small country  in Albert Moran (ed) Localising Global TV, Intellect Books.
  • Barry King, (2008) Stardom, Celebrity and the Para-confession, Social Semiotics, 18, 2, 115-13, 2008.
  • Harriet Margolis, Sean Cubitt, Barry King and Thierry Jutel  (2008) Studying the Event Film: Lord of the Rings, Manchester University Press.


  • 2014, Dean’s Award for Research in Design and Creative Technologies