Michael Leruth holds a Ph.D. in French from Penn State University (1995) and teaches courses and conducts research on modern and contemporary French society and culture. His particular areas of interest are French national celebrations, French political culture and national identity, the French Republic, the history of ideas and intellectuals in France, and contemporary art. He has published articles on the topics in leading journals in the field of French cultural studies such as The French Review, French Cultural Studies, French Politics and Society, Modern and Contemporary France, Contemporary French Civilization, and Sites: Contemporary French and Francophone Studies. Since 2004, he has collaborated with the French media artist Fred Forest, participating in Forest's networked happening The Digital Street Corner (Art Basel Miami Beach, 2005) and providing the voice of the avatar Ego Cyberstar for a performance piece in the Second Life environment (Flux Factory, New York, 2010). He is currently working on a book to be titled Interface as Utopia: The Media Art and Activism of Fred Forest.