N. Katherine Hayles

Literary Critic, 2023-2024 Berggruen Fellow

Prof. N. Katherine Hayles is the James B. Duke Professor of Literature Emerita at Duke University and Distinguished Research Professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles. She teaches and writes on the relations of literature, science and technology in the 20th and 21st centuries. She has published ten books and over 100 peer-reviewed articles, and she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her most recent books are Unthought: The Power of the Cognitive Nonconscious and Postprint: Books and Becoming Computational. Hayles’ book manuscript, "Bacteria to AI: Human Futures with Our Nonhuman Symbionts," claims that computational media possess umwelten, or world horizons, a concept that has historically described how biological organisms create and act on their environments.

Hayles joined the Vaster than Empires Project as a writer and presented a talk on computational collective intelligence. She also participated in the inaugural Embodied Machines Project in Cambridge, Massachusetts this past July. As a 2023-2024 Fellow, Hayles will continue to explore themes of what it means to be posthuman and the future of the entwined evolutionary trajectories of humans and AI.