profile picture of Christopher Kelty

Christopher Kelty

Visiting Scholar (Sep 2021-Jun 2022)


Christopher Kelty is professor at the University of California, Los Angeles in the Institute for Society and Genetics, the Department of Anthropology, and the department of Information Studies. He received a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Program in Science, Technology and Society (now HASTS) in 2000 for a dissertation on the impact of the internet on healthcare organizations. Since then he has written on a range of topics at the intersection of technology and social/political theory. He wrote one of the first in-depth studies of free and open source software production and its relation to the public sphere (Two Bits, Duke University Press, 2008), and several articles about the nature of freedom and internet-based technologies and their relationship to concepts and practices of openness in liberal democracies. He has written about the nature or responsibility in engineering design, especially in the field of nanotechnology. He has published extensively on the problem of participation in new internet and social media platforms, and has written a historical ethnography about the concept and practice of participation (The Participant, Chicago University Press, 2019). He has researched and written occasionally about hackers, pirates, activists, libertarians, trans-humanists, and other creatures who inhabit the political landscape of technological innovation. More recently he has extended his interests to include non-human animals, and has been conducting fieldwork with pest control professionals, wildlife managers, biologists, and veterinarians in Los Angeles, on questions related to cats, coyotes, arbitrariness, rats, wetlands, domestication, grass, poison, concrete, relocation, raccoons, working class politics, mountain lions, and also Satan. Outside academic work, Kelty has been a long-time activist for open access publications and open access policies for academic control of publication rights and processes, including leading the passage of one of the first open access policies for the entire ten-campus University of California system. He co-created (with Stephen Collier and Andrew Lakoff) the scholar-led, innovative scholarly magazine Limn, and he was a founding member of the Libraria collective which continues to fight for scholar control of publishing practices in Anthropology, science studies, and related disciplines. 


No current projects were found for this scholar.

The Labyrinth Project: Co-existence, Extermination, and the Governance of Animals in Los Angeles, California


Past Events


The "Ecological" Origins and Consequences of the Rodent Bait Station