John McWhorter teaches linguistics, music history, philosophy and American Studies at Columbia University. He is the author of The Power of Babel, Doing Our Own Thing, Our Magnificent Bastard Tounge, What Language Is, and the upcoming Words On The Move, and his academic specialty is language change and contact. His academic books on language include Defining Creole and Language Interrupted. He also writes on race as well as language for Time, CNN, the Wall Street Journal and the Daily Beast, and a monthly column on language for The Atlantic. McWhorter has published four audiovisual courses with the Teaching Company and has appeared often on National Public Radio (and twice at TED).
Mark Z. Danielewski was born in New York City and lives in Los Angeles. He is the author of House of Leaves, The Whalestoe Letters, Only Revolutions, The Fifty Year Sword, and The Familiar.
Howard A. Rodman wrote Savage Grace starring Julianne Moore and Eddie Redmayne, nominated for Best Screenplay at the 2009 Spirit Awards, and August, starring Josh Hartnett and David Bowie. He also wrote Joe Gould’s Secret, based on the memoir by famed New Yorker writer Joseph Mitchell. He is the author of the novel, Destiny Express, set in the pre-war German filmmaking community. He is the president of the Writers Guild of America, West; a professor of screenwriting at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts; an Artistic Director of the Sundance Screenwriting Labs; and a member of the National Film Preservation Board. In 2013, in recognition of his contributions, he was named a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the government of France.