Peter Sachs Collopy


I am a Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Digital Humanities Program at the University of Southern California, where I’m also affiliated with the Department of History, the Visual Studies Research Institute, and the Society of Fellows in the Humanities. Beginning May 15, I will be University Archivist and Head of Special Collections at the California Institute of Technology Archives. I am also a managing editor and web administrator of the History of Anthropology Newsletter.

My research brings together the histories of science, technology, media, and the social movements that have made use of them, particularly in the early history of videotape. I’ve written about theologians who believed that Darwinism provided a “Calvinistic interpretation of nature”; anthropologists whose personal relationships and emotions shaped their arguments about the nature of race; psychologists studying millennial sexual behavior; engineers appropriating analog computing to build video synthesizers; artist Paul Ryan modeling video installations on Catholic practices; videographers using psychedelia and evolutionary panpsychism to make video into a technology of consciousness; psychotherapists and artists employing video feedback and cybernetics to cure/cause narcissism and produce new social systems; and Black Panthers who appeared in the U.S. on videotape while fugitives abroad. (Unlinked topics can be found in my dissertation, and these and other fragments of my research are catalogued more systematically on my projects page.)

I also have a decade of experience in the governance of cooperative businesses, and bring my interests in participatory democracy and solidarity economies to my work.

Twitter @collopy
Medium @collopy
Skype petercollopy
Mail Social Sciences Building 153
3502 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0007
Society of California Archivists
Pasadena, April 27–29
History of Science Colloquium*
UCLA, May 8
Signal Culture
June 1–8