N. Katherine Hayles

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Literary critic and theorist as well as the author of How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature and Informatics which won the Rene Wellek Prize for the best book in literary theory for 1998–1999.


Hayles received her B.S. in Chemistry from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1966, her M.S. in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1969, 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. She has taught at the University of Iowa, University of Missouri–Rolla, the California Institute of Technology, and Dartmouth College.

She is currently the Hillis Professor of Literature in English and Media Arts at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where she has taught since 1992.


N. Katherine Hayles is one of the foremost scholars of the relationship between literature and science in the late twentieth century. Her early work orchestrates the play of resonances between contemporary scientific paradigms and literature.

Hayles' essays and books focus upon American postmodern literature, (particularly, though not limited to, the works of David Foster Wallace, Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, Vladimir Nabokov, Mark Z. Danielewski, and Robert Coover) as well as the area of Literature and Science. She also writes on electronic textuality, Posthumanism, Technocriticism, Electronic literature, Hypertext, and Hypertext fiction. She is particularly concerned with the parallels between scientific models and literary theories as well as in contextualizing the interactions between humans and intelligent machines.


  • The Cosmic Web: Scientific Field Models and Literary Strategies in the Twentieth Century, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1984.
  • Chaos Bound: Orderly Disorder in Contemporary Literature and Science, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1990.
  • How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature and Informatics, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999.
  • Writing Machines, Cambridge: MIT Press, 2002.
  • My Mother Was a Computer: Digital Subjects and Literary Texts, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.
  • Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary, Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2008.
  • How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis, University of Chicago Press, 2012.
  • Chaos and Order: Complex Dynamics in Literature and Science, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991.
  • Nanoculture: Implications of the New Technoscience, Intellect, 2004.

External links