Nationally Renowned Author to Speak at Graduation

N. Katherine Hayles, professor of literature and director of graduate studies at Duke University, will serve as the May 2014 Commencement speaker.

In addition to her positions at Duke University, Hayles is a distinguished professor emerita at the University of California, Los Angeles. She teaches graduate seminars on contemporary American literature and cultural and literary theory.

Hayles has been influential in shaping contemporary media theory through the concept of “media-specific analysis,” as well as through the robust and lively interactions she analyzes between print and digital literary works. Steeped in digital literature and culture, she believes the printed book has never been livelier or more interesting as a medium for experimental literature.

The author of 10 books and more than 100 articles, her work “How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature and Informatics,” won the Rene Wellek Prize for the Best Book in Literary Theory for 1998-99, as well as the Eaton Award for Science Fiction Theory and Criticism. Additionally, her work has earned numerous accolades, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships and a University of California Presidential Research Fellowship.

Hayles earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry from the Rochester Institute of Technology and the California Institute of Technology, respectively. In the field of English, she has a master’s degree from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester.

Commencement ceremonies are scheduled for 2 p.m. May 10 at Stokes Stadium. For more detailed information on the Commencement ceremony, visit For those unable to attend, the event will also be live-streamed at