Carmen  Mayer

Associate Professor of French | Graduate Advisor for French Literature


PhD, University of Oregon, 2000


Boren Awards

NAFA, National Association of Fellowship Advisors

AIZEN, Association Internationale Zola et Naturalisme

Research Interests

Dr. Mayer teaches at all levels of the curriculum, from first-year language classes to graduate-level seminars. Recent graduate classes include “Bohemia”, “19th Century French Crime Fiction”, and “Zola: Novel and Adaptation”. Dr. Mayer serves as Campus Representative for the Boren Awards, a prestigious national security scholarship and fellowship program that supports study abroad. Dr. Mayer loves helping students achieve success, and to that end was recently named the first Provost Faculty Fellow for the University’s Project Rising Tide Initiative.

In the area of research, Dr. Mayer specializes in 19th-century French literature. Recent publications have focused on Zola and adaptation (film, opera, Broadway and other theatrical productions of Zola novels). Dr. Mayer enjoys learning about literary genesis, the study of manuscripts, notes, drafts, and plans, which offers insight into the thinking and creative processes of great authors. She is working on a book, “Zola’s Secular Evangelism,” on turn-of-the century utopianism in Emile Zola’s Quatre Evangiles. In 2019, Dr. Mayer became Vice President of the AIZEN, Association Internationale Zola et Naturalisme. She is excited that the University of Alabama will host the next AIZEN International Conference here on campus from March 4-6, 2021.

Selected Publications

Publications on Zola, Baudelaire, Mérimée, De Quincey, Flaubert, and Huysmans have appeared in XIX Dix-NeufRomance Studies, EXCAVATIO, Romance Languages Annual, Romance Notes, Nineteenth Century French Studies, Dalhousie French Studies and in two volumes of the Society of Dix-neuviémistes: Currencies: Fiscal Fortunes and Cultural Capital in the French Nineteenth Century (Peter Lang 2005) and Birth and Death in Nineteenth-Century French Culture (Rodopi 2007). She has presented her research at various national and international conferences and colloquia.