Phenomenology Online

A Resource for Phenomenological Inquiry

Roland Barthes was born in Cherbourg, France on November 12, 1915. His father was a naval lieutenant and died in a sea battle one year after Barthes was born. In 1924, the family moved to Paris, where Barthes received his most of his education. From 1962 until his death in 1980, he was the Director of the Institute in the Sociology of ‘Signs, Symbols and Representations’ at the école des Hautes études, where he conducted seminars on the sociologies of signs and collective representations. In 1976, Barthes was elected to a Chair in Literary Semiology at the Collége de France, France’s most prestigious academic institution. He is a frequent visitor to the United States, where he taught in many universities.


Barthes is generally recognized as an influential poststructural social, literary, linguistic critic. Some of his works are Critical Essays, Criticism and Truth, Elements of Semiology, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography, New Critical Essays, The Rustle of Language, Sollers Writer.