Peter Sachs Collopy


I am University Archivist and Head of Special Collections at the California Institute of Technology Archives, and a managing editor and web administrator of the History of Anthropology Newsletter.

As a scholar, 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 a theologian who believed 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; 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.)

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
Phone +1 626-395-2702
Mail 1200 E. California Blvd.
MC B215-74
Pasadena, CA 91125
Pious Technologies and Secular Designs*
Columbia University, October 13–14
Photography and Information Technology*
Université de Lausanne, November 16–17