2016 Wellek Lectures with Katherine Hayles
Department: Critical Theory at UCIDate and Time: May 18, 2016 | 4:00 PM-6:00 PM
Event Location: HG 1030
Katherine Hayles, Professor of Literature at Duke University, will present the 2016 Wellek Lectures
Lecture 1: "Entwinement: Bodies in Biological and Media Extinction"
The provocation of these lectures is to consider literary print texts in which fear of biological extinction merges with fear of media extinction, that is, the possibility that print as a medium is becoming extinct. Especially intriguing is the counter-intuitive tendency in some literary texts to welcome the extinction of the human species, including, of course, authors and readers of print texts. How can we understand why extinction presents itself not as an unambiguous evil but as a mixed prospect that has some beneficial aspects? Introducing the concept, this lecture will explore the first of three topoi, the body. When the focus is on the body, at risk is the materiality of the text itself: its corporeal existence that shows signs of trauma, bound up with fears about the continued existence and vitality of humans as a biological species. Two tutor texts will guide this inquiry: Jess Stoner’s experimental print text I Have Blinded Myself Writing This, and the belated print text The Silent History, which appeared first as apps for the iPhone.