Hélène Cixous (1937-) is professor of literature at the University of Paris VIII, an experimental university that she helped to found in 1968 and where she established a doctoral program in women’s studies, the first and only one in France. Her childhood has been described as simultaneously Mediterranean and European. Raised in Oran, Algeria, her father’s Sephardic Jewish family had fled Spain for Morocco and spoke French, Spanish, and Arabic. Her mother and grandmother were Ashkenazi Jews from Germany, and German was spoken in her home. She learned Arabic and Hebrew from her father, who died in 1948, and learned English as a student in London in 1950. She moved to France in 1955, where she became a student at the Lycée Lakanal, a preparatory school for boys.