N. Katherine Hayles bigraphy, stories - Dynasty

N. Katherine Hayles : biography

16 December 1943 -

N. Katherine Hayles (born 16 December 1943) is a postmodern literary critic, most notable for her contribution to the fields of literature and science, electronic literature, and American literature. She is professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Program in Literature at Duke University.


Selected bibliography


  • How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis, (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2012. ISBN 9780226321424)
  • Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary, (South Bend: University of Notre Dame Press, 2008. ISBN 9780268030858)
  • My Mother Was a Computer: Digital Subjects and Literary Texts, (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2005. ISBN 9780226321479)
  • Nanoculture: Implications of the New Technoscience (ed.), 2004
  • Writing Machines, (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2002. ISBN 9780262582155)
  • How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature and Informatics, (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1999. ISBN 9780226321462)
  • Technocriticism and Hypernarrative. A special issue of Modern Fiction Studies 43, no. 3, Fall 1997 (guest editor)
  • Chaos and Order: Complex Dynamics in Literature and Science. (ed.), (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1991. ISBN 9780226321448)
  • Chaos Bound: Orderly Disorder in Contemporary Literature and Science, (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1990. ISBN 9780801497018)
  • The Cosmic Web: Scientific Field Models and Literary Strategies in the Twentieth Century, (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1984. ISBN 9780801492907)

Book chapters

  • 'The Time of Digital Poetry: From Object to Event,' in New Media Poetics: Contexts, Technotexts, and Theories, Morris, Adalaide, and Thomas Swiss, eds. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006.
  • 'The life cycle of cyborgs: writing the posthuman.' In The Cyborg Handbook, Gray, Chris Hables (ed.) New York: Routledge, 1996. Also available in Cybersexualities, Wolmark, Jenny (ed.) Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press, 2000.



  • Narrating Bits: Encounters between Humans and Intelligent Machines, Vectors Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular, Volume 1 Issue 1 (Evidence).


Hayles was born in Saint Louis, Missouri to Edward and Thelma Bruns. She received her B.S. in Chemistry from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1966, and her M.S. in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1969. She worked as a research chemist in 1966 at Xerox Corporation and as a chemical research consultant Beckman Instrument Company from 1968-1970. Hayles then switched fields and received her M.A. in English Literature from Michigan State University in 1970, and her Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Rochester in 1977.Gale 2004. She is a social and literary critic.

Key Concepts

Human and Posthuman

Hayles understands "human" and "posthuman" as constructions that emerge from historically specific understandings of technology, culture and embodiment; "human and "posthuman" views each produce unique models of subjectivity.N. Katherine Hayles, How We Became Posthuman:Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature and Informatics, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999)', 33. Within this framework "human" is aligned with Enlightenment notions of liberal humanism, including its emphasis on the "natural self" and the freedom of the individual.Hayles, Posthuman, 3. Conversely, Posthuman does away with the notion of a "natural" self and emerges when human intelligence is conceptualized as being co-produced with intelligent machines. According to Hayles the posthuman view privileges information over materiality, considers consciousness as an epiphenomenon and imagines the body as a prosthesis for the mind .Hayles, Posthuman,2. Specifically Hayles suggests that in the posthuman view "there are no essential differences or absolute demarcations between bodily existence and computer simulation..." The posthuman thus emerges as a deconstruction of the liberal humanist notion of "human."

Living octopus

Living octopus

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