Peter Sachs Collopy


I’m a historian and archivist of science, technology, and media.

As University Archivist at the Caltech Archives, I collect, preserve, and present papers and other media that facilitate understandings of Caltech’s role in the history of science and technology.

As a managing editor and web administrator of the History of Anthropology Newsletter, I foster an intellectual community of historians and anthropologists.

As a scholar, one portion of my work concerns how politics and religion have shaped the methods of biologists and social scientists. I’ve written about a geologist-theologian who believed Darwinism provided a “Calvinistic interpretation of nature”; anthropologists whose personal relationships and emotions shaped their arguments about the nature of race; and psychologists studying millennial sexual behavior.

Another portion of my work takes up these same issues in the context of the history of video technology. I’ve written about engineers appropriating analog computing to build video synthesizers; an artist 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.)

Twitter @collopy
Medium @collopy
Skype petercollopy
Phone +1 626-395-2702
Mail 1200 E. California Blvd.
MC B215-74
Pasadena, CA 91125
Society for the History of Technology
Philadelphia, October 26–28
American Philosophical Society*
Philadelphia, October 30
History of Science Society
Toronto, November 9–12
Photography and Information Technology*
Université de Lausanne, November 16–17