Profile picture of Colin Koopman

Colin Koopman

Professor of Philosophy
Director of New Media and Culture Certificate Program & Pre-Law Advisor (on leave 2024)
Phone: 541-346-5980
Office: 250A Susan Campbell Hall
Office Hours: By Appointment
Research Interests: Political Philosophy, Information Politics and Data Ethics, AI, History of Philosophy, Genealogy, Pragmatism


Dr. Koopman is on a NEH-funded research sabbatical for the entirety of calendar year 2024 (and may respond to emails with delay during this period).

Colin Koopman's writing and teaching are focused on contributions to political theory and ethics.  His current focus is on the the politics of information and the ethics of data.  He explores these fields in terms of century-old predecessor technologies that continue to condition contemporary techno-trends that are often presented as importantly new. Methodologically, this work mobilizes analytics and concepts from the philosophical traditions of genealogy and pragmatism to engage current issues of politics, ethics, and culture.  From a metaphilosophical perspective, his work is expressive of a pluralistic practice of philosophy that draws widely on diverse figures, traditions, disciplines, and themes.  He has written on a range of figures across genealogy (Foucault, Nietzsche, Williams) and pragmatism (James, Du Bois, Dewey, Rorty, Brandom) as well as other thinkers in Continental (Deleuze, Habermas, Latour) and Analytic (Wittgenstein, Cavell, Rawls) philosophy.  His work also engages research in other disciplinary contexts by media scholars, historians anthropologists, political scientists, legal theorists, and information scientists.


Dr. Koopman's current recent research is focused on the politics of data technologies.  This work is represented in the following publications and profiles:

  • How We Became Our Data: A Genealogy of the Informational Person. This project focuses on the overlay between information and politics as mediated by a form of subjectivity emergent in the twentieth century.  Research for this work included studies of the early years of scientific personality psychology (ca. 1917-1937), the racialization of real estate appraisal practices in America (ca. 1923-1934), and the history of identification paperwork (ca. 1913-1933).  Summaries of parts of the book are available elsewhere in:
  • The Our Data, Our Selves web project brings together some of his individual and collaborative research on the genealogies of data systems and their ongoing functions in our historical present.

Ongoing work includes research (individual or collaborative) toward contributions on:

  • Relational Egalitarianism in Data Systems
  • A Methodology for Evaluating Datasets: Format Anatomies
  • A Genealogy of Intelligence Testing in relation to Artificial Intelligence
  • A Genealogy of Information in the History of Genetics
  • A Genealogy of Medical Records (comparing clinical and insurance records)
  • Genealogical Realism in Political Theory
  • Selected studies in the History of Philosophy, with current interest in: Simondon and Arendt



Articles and Essays: