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Noted English professor to lecture on cybernetics, artificial intelligence and virtual environments

Ref. No. 109

DATE:     Mar. 11, 2002
SUBJECT:     Noted English professor to lecture on cybernetics, artificial intelligence and virtual environments

Note to editors:

Memorial University's Department of Sociology is sponsoring the visit of Dr. Katherine Hayles, professor of English literature at the University of California, as Henrietta Harvey Distinguished Lecturer. Dr. Hayles' critically-acclaimed work examines the status of the body in cybernetics, artificial intelligence and virtual environments.

Through innovative readings of the development of information theory and post-war American literature, Dr. Hayles shows how the breakdown of the boundary between the human and machine challenges our definitions of consciousness, life and individuality.

Dr. Hayles holds advanced degrees in both chemistry and English literature. Her work has a wide, cross-disciplinary relevance and could appeal to audiences not only in the human sciences and humanities, but in the fields of information theory, biology and computer science as well.

Her most recent book, How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature and Informatics, was named one of the best 25 books of 1999 by Village Voice and won the prestigious Rene Wellek Prize for Best Book in Literary Theory for 1998-99. It also won the American Comparative Literature Association and Eaton Award for the Best Book in Science Fiction Theory and Criticism, 1998-99.

In addition to her recent work on virtuality, Dr. Hayles has also made a significant contribution to our understanding of the place of chaos and complexity theory in the human and interpretive sciences.

Dr. Hayles will be visiting Memorial between March 17-23 and will deliver the Henrietta Harvey Lecture on Monday, March 18, at 7 p.m. Her lecture is titled Simulating the Subject: Mediation in House of Leaves and will take place in Room A-1043, located in the Arts and Administration Building. Parking will be available in area 15, located to the east of the Music Building.

On Tuesday, March 19, from12:30-2 p.m. in room A-3020, Dr. Hayles will speak on The Posthuman Body, a seminar hosted by the English department. She will participate in a roundtable discussion on Thursday, March 21, 12:30-2 p.m. in the Genesis Board Room (Fourth Floor, Spencer Hall), on the topic How Can We Use Information Technology to Enhance Education? Media agencies are encouraged to send representatives to these events.


For further information, please contact Ivan Muzychka, manager, Memorial University News Service, 737-8665.


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