N. Katherine Hayles
Performing Technogenesis: The Affective Power of Digital Media
In this talk, N. Katherine Hayles will explore how digital media is changing us, and on what levels and in what ways. She will examine the co-evolution of technical objects and contemporary humans, arguing that our intense engagements with digital media affect us not only through conscious channels but also through unconscious and nonconscious modes, as well. The trajectory of these changes will be discussed, with examples drawn from gaming and electronic literature.
The Observer Effects series invites thinkers to present their highly integrative work in dialogue with the fields of art and science. This lecture series takes its title from a popularized principle in physics that holds that the act of observation transforms the observed. Outside the natural sciences, the idea that the observer and the observed are linked in a web of reciprocal modification has been deeply influential in philosophy, aesthetics, psychology, and politics.
N. Katherine Hayles, professor of literature and director of graduate studies at Duke University, writes and teaches on the relationships of literature, science, and technology in the 20th and 21st centuries. Her book How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics, won the René Wellek Prize for the Best Book of Literary Theory for 1998-99, and her book Writing Machines won the Suzanne Langer Award for Outstanding Scholarship. Her most recent book is How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis. Hayles has received numerous awards and fellowships, including a Guggenheim, two National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships, and a Rockefeller Residential Fellowship at Bellagio.