A poet, critic and literature professor, Michael was a founding member of Warwick's French Department, lecturing here from 1965 - 1973. He then returned to the University in the late 1980s as Professor of English, and was Head of English & Comparative Literary Studies from 1992 - 1995. He is now a professor at the Collège de France.
The Académie française was created in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu to establish rules for the French language to make it "pure, eloquent", comprehensible to all and a tool for arts and sciences. Members' responsibilities include advising on which new words should be entered into the French dictionary.