She is a social and literary critic. Her scholarship primarily focuses on the “relations between science, rene wellek theory of literature pdf, and technology.
Conversely, posthuman does away with the notion of a “natural” self and emerges when human intelligence is conceptualized as being co-produced with intelligent machines. According to Hayles the posthuman view privileges information over materiality, considers consciousness as an epiphenomenon and imagines the body as a prosthesis for the mind . The posthuman thus emerges as a deconstruction of the liberal humanist notion of “human. Despite drawing out the differences between “human” and “posthuman”, Hayles is careful to note that both perspectives engage in the erasure of embodiment from subjectivity. In the liberal humanist view, cognition takes precedence over the body, which is narrated as an object to possess and master. Meanwhile, popular conceptions of the cybernetic posthuman imagine the body as merely a container for information and code.
Hayles traces the history of what she calls “the cultural perception that information and materiality are conceptually distinct and that information is in some sense more essential, more important and more fundamental than materiality. In this regard, the posthuman subject under the condition of virtuality is an “amalgam, a collection of heterogeneous components, a material-informational entity whose boundaries undergo continuous construction and reconstruction. Hayles differentiates “embodiment” from the concept of “the body” because “in contrast to the body, embodiment is contextual, enmeshed within the specifics of place, time, physiology, and culture, which together compose enactment. She diagrams these shifts to show how ideas about abstraction and information actually have a “local habitation” and are “embodied” within the narratives.