Peter Sachs Collopy

Peter

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

My research project “The Revolution Will Be Videotaped” explores how artists, psychotherapists, political organizers, and “video freaks” used videotape recording—and discourses of feedback and panpsychism which accompanied it—to experiment with mind and society in the 1960s and 1970s. I have published on theories of self-observation, video synthesizers, electronic photography, and Catholicism in video art.

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

I am University Archivist and department head at the Caltech Archives and Special Collections. In that role, 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, currently including Becoming Caltech: Building a Research Community, 1910–1930 and Gone But Not Forgotten. I am the principal investigator of a Pacific Standard Time 2024 research and exhibition project on the visual culture of science at Caltech, and co-organize the event series “Critical Intersections: Conversations on History, Race, and Science.”

In fall 2022, art historian Claudia Bohn-Spector and I are teaching Curating Art and Science at Claremont Graduate University.

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 Society for the History of Technology; Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine; ARK Alliance; and Oberlin College OSCAlums.

From 2015 to 2017, I was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Southern California, where I also taught the courses America in the Cold War World and The Evolution Debates. Before that, I studied and taught at the University of Pennsylvania and Oberlin College, was an organizer and board member of Mariposa Food Co-op and the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association, 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
Becoming Caltech*
Pasadena Museum of History, September 22
HSS Turns 50
Penn, October 7–9
History of Anthropology Review
Penn, October 9–10
Centering Race and Disability in Histories of Eugenics*
Huntington Library, October 14–15
*presenting