Pierre Saint-Amand holds joint appointments with French Studies and Comparative Literature at Brown University. A graduate of the University of Montreal, he received his Master's and doctoral degrees in Romance Languages. from The Johns Hopkins University . Before taking a tenured position at Brown in 1986, he taught as assistant professor of French at Yale and Stanford. In 1991 and 2004 he was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Romance Languages at Harvard University and in 2001 he taught as Visiting Professor at the University of Iowa, Iowa City. He is the author of Diderot: le labyrinthe de la relation (1984), Séduire ou la passion des Lumières (1987), Les Lois de l'hostilité. La politique à l'âge des Lumières (1992), The Libertine's Progress (1994) and The Laws of Hostility (1996). He is the editor of Diderot, Le Roman au 18e siècle: Postérités, Autonomy in the Age of the Enlightenment. He has edited for Gallimard's Pléiade, Thérèse philosophe and Confession d'une jeune fille (2000, 2005). He has published widely on topics of literary criticism in journals such as Romanic Review, Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth-Century, Stanford French Review, Critique, Furor, and Critical Inquiry. He was the recipient in 1986 of a Stanford Humanities Center fellowship, and in 1989 of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship. He was named the Walter H. Annenberg Professor of the Year (1995) and, in 1996, Francis Wayland Professor of French Studies and Comparative Literature. He was inducted Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques in February 2001.
Professor Saint-Amand has research interests in 18th-century literature, especially the novel, the philosophy of the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and literary criticism and theory. He is currently working on a book, The Pursuit of Laziness: Idleness and the Philosophes.