Laura Wittman received her Ph.D. in 2001 from Yale University where she completed her dissertation in the Department of Italian Language and Literature. The title of her dissertation is “Mystics Without God: Spirituality and Form in Italian and French Modernism,” an analysis of the historical and intellectual context for the self-descriptive use of the term “mystic without God” in the works of Gabriele d'Annununzio and Paul Valéry. Before coming to Stanford, Laura Wittman was an Assistant Professor of Italian, French and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Laura Wittman is the editor of a special issue of the Romanic Review entitled Italy and France: Imagined Geographies, as well as the co-editor of an anthology of Futurist manifestos and literary works forthcoming with Yale University Press.
Michel Tournier was born in Paris in 1924. He studied at Saint-Eremberg and Saint-German in Laye. He got a degree at the Sorbonne. In 1946 he went to Germany and began teaching at Tubingem University. He worked for a French radio station as producer and director, as a journalist. From 1958 to 1968, he was in charge of a printing house and wrote Vendredi ou les limbes du Pacifique (1967), for which he was awarded the Grand Prix de l'Académie.