Julia Kristeva, a professor and psychoanalyst, was raised in communist Bulgaria. At the age of 25 she left for Paris with a doctoral research fellowship in hand. By1967 her articles were already appearing in the most prestigious reviews, Critique and Tel Quel. Her linguistic research led to the publication of two books, du Le texte roman and Semeiotike, and ultimately to her doctoral thesis, La Revolution du langage poetique, in 1974.
Kristeva met and worked with the most important figures of structuralism in Paris with her most important teacher being Roland Barthes. Barthes states of Kristeva:
"Kristeva changes the order of things: she always destroys the latest preconception, the one we thought we could be comforted by, the one of which we could be proud: what she desplaces is the already-said, that is to say , the insistence of the signified: what she suvbverts is the authority of monologic science and of filiation" (La Quinzaine Litteraire 19).
She inspired her teachers right from the start because of her unique intellectual background. Her Eastern European training with a solid background in Marxist theory and fluent Russian enabled her to acquire first-hand knowledge of the Russian Formalists and, more inportantly, societ theorist Mikhail Bakhtin, whose work she was instrumental in introducing to the Western world. With a Marxist, Formalist, and adaptive form of the Hegelian concept of negativity context, she had the confidence to not only learn from those she encountered in Paris but to utilize them and transform them for her particular project to take up a critical position towards structuralism. A focal point of her position is her process-oriented view of the sign. Her semiotic theory "demonstrates precisely her radical attack on the rigid, scientistic pretensions of a certain kind of structuralism, as well as on the subjectivist and empiricist categories of the traditional humanism."
Her communist Bulgarian upbringing, unique intellectual surroundings in France, position as a foreigner and a woman in a male-dominated environment gave shape and impetuous for her work in semiotics. While not considered a feminist, Kristeva's main concerns are with the politics of marginality and against all monologic discourse, with the desire to produce a discourse which always confronts (and is thus in process all the time), the impasse of language, and moves to think language against itself.
Julia Kristeva feels that instead of accepting consensual ideology and moralizing, we need to adopt an "analytic, relentless position" that takes negativity into account. She also challenges "writers" instead of intellectuals to reinvent the political realm. Kristeva, unlike many others, practices her theories. In her non-fiction and fiction she fractures language and conventions and interacts with multiple texts. [source]