Born in Bulgaria, Julia Kristeva has lived and worked in France since 1966.  In the 60's, Kristeva was an active member of the 'Tel Quel group', publishing influential writings on the politics of language in the Tel Quel journal and eventually joining its editorial board. This early work in language and linguistics led to the publication of Semeiotikè (1969) and La Révolution du langage poétique (1974). Kristeva completed her training in psychoanalysis in 1979. Her writings in the 1980s draw on her practice as an analyst and elaborate on the nature of the relationship between semiotic drives and symbolic language. These texts include Pouvoirs de l’horreur (1980), Histoires d’amour (1985), and Soleil noir. Dépression et mélancolie (1987). 


Kristeva's subsequent writings have explored a variety of topics, including the experience of difference, the nature of religious belief and the nature of female genius. These texts include L’Avenir d’une révolte (1998), Le Génie féminin: Hannah Arendt (1999), and Cet incroyable besoin de croire (2007). Kristeva is now Professor Emeritus at University of Paris VII Diderot. She holds honorary degrees from many universities in the United States, Canada and Europe. In 2004, she was the first recipient of the Norway's Prix Holberg in recognition of her “innovative explorations of questions on the intersection of language, culture and literature which inspired research across the humanities and the social sciences throughout the world and have also had a significant impact on feminist theory.”