Peter Sachs Collopy

Peter

I’m a historian, archivist, and curator of modern American science, technology, and media, especially the histories of video technology, computing, cybernetics, and evolutionary thought. As University Archivist and department head at the California Institute of Technology Archives and Special Collections, I lead a team that facilitates understanding of Caltech’s role in the history of science and technology by curating research collections and public exhibitions.

I’m a co-organizer of Caltech’s seminar series “Critical Intersections: Conversations on History, Race, and Science” and the Principal Investigator of the Pacific Standard Time 2024 research and exhibition project “Virtual Witnessing: Seeing Caltech Science.”

My research project “The Revolution Will Be Videotaped” is a network history of experimental videographers who collaborated across the fields of art, psychotherapy, and politics in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It is also a history of the resources videographers drew on, both material and intellectual, including the technology of electromagnetic recording, the practice of mediated self-observation, the metaphysics of collective consciousness, the cybernetic reformation of technological utopianism, and the discourse of ethereality. I have published on video synthesizers, electronic photography, and Catholicism in Paul Ryan’s video art.

In the history of biology and the human sciences, I have written about race concepts in physical anthropology, theistic evolutionism, and the quantification of sex. I maintain a bibliography of the history of cybernetics.

As a managing editor and web administrator of the History of Anthropology Review, I foster an intellectual community of historians and anthropologists. I also serve on committees of the Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine, the Society of American Archivists Science, Technology and Health Care Section, and the ARK Alliance.

From 2015 to 2017, I was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Southern California, where I taught the courses America in the Cold War World and The Evolution Debates. Prior to that, I studied and taught at the University of Pennsylvania, was an organizer and board member of Mariposa Food Co-op in Philadelphia, and worked as a web developer and science museum educator.

profiles
Twitter @collopy
Medium @collopy
ORCID 0000-0002-0979-6549
Google Scholar dq5HS28AAAAJ
Web https://collopy.net/
contact
Email
Phone +1 626-395-2702
Mail 1200 E. California Blvd.
MC B215-74
Pasadena, CA 91125
itinerary
Society of California Archivists
April 27–30
Third Workshop on Scientific Archives
Hamburg, June 22–23
The Movement Movement*
Philipps-Universität Marburg, June 24–26
Society of American Archivists
Anaheim, August 1–7
*presenting