Carmen Mayer

Associate Professor of French
Director of External Scholarships and Fellowships

  • email:
  • phone (205) 348-5059
  • office location BB Comer Hall 230


  • PhD, University of Oregon, 2000

Research Areas

  • Cultural History (maternity, sport, solar power, auxiliary language, utopianism)
  • Genetic Criticism (the study of notes, plans, and correspondence to understand the emergence and development of authorship and great works)


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,” all based on her areas of research. Dr. Mayer specializes in 19th-century French literature, and many of her publications have focused on Zola. Dr. Mayer 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 3-5, 2022.

In addition to her teaching and research, Dr. Mayer serves as Director of External Scholarships and Fellowships. She enjoys helping students achieve success, and recently served as the first Provost Faculty Fellow for the University’s Project Rising Tide Initiative.


NAFA, National Association of Fellowship Advisors

AIZEN, Association Internationale Zola et Naturalisme

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.