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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

Universities at the Crossroads: podium discussion with Professor N. Kate Hayles (Duke University) and Professor David Berry (University of Sussex)

8th March 2018, 10:00 to 11:45, Senate Suite, University College, Durham University, Professor N. Kate Hayles (Duke University) and Professor David Berry (University of Sussex)


Professor Kate Hayles is today one of the most renowned Humanities scholars across the globe,for the very good, if paradoxical, reason that she transcends the divide between the two cultures of sciences and humanities. Currently Professor of English Literature at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, Kate Hayles began her academic career with degrees in Chemistry at Rochester Institute of Technology and CalTech, then working as a research chemist with Xerox Corporation. There followed degrees in English Literature at Michigan and Rochester, since when she has held posts in English at Dartmouth, CalTech, UCLA, and now Duke. She has achieved many distinctions, whilst making her name with books synthesising her unique dual gift: Chaos Bound. Orderly Disorder in Contemporary Literature and Science. (1990), How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature and Informatics (1999), How We Think. Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis (2012), and most recently, Unthought. The Power of the Cognitive Nonconscious (2017). All these works show that mind, body, intelligence, complexity, literature and technology are not mutually exclusive terms, but in fact complementary to one another, and in fact always already have been. In doing so, she has paved she way for the establishment of human-animal studies, for cognitive literary studies, and above all for the non-Freudian concept of the cognitive nonconscious, a notion which uses emergentist system theory to bridge the conceptual dualism between technical, animate, and conscious systems of cognition.

Following her lecture on the future of the university on Wed 7 March 2018 (8.00pm), Professor Hayles will continue the debate on the future of the university in a podium discussion with David Berry, Professor of Digital Humanities, from the University of Sussex, on Thursday 8 March at 10.00am in the Senate Suite, University College.

Places for this debate must be booked in advance due to limited capacity here.


Directions to University College

Map - University College is denoted as building No. 23


Contact enquiries.ias@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.