Fall 2001



(From left) Colette Becker, Alain Pagès, Anna Gural-Migdal, and Brigitte Emile-Zola

        The AIZEN has now been in existence ten years. So much has been done, yet much remains to accomplish. We pay homage to Monique Fol, who was equal to the challenging task of founding the AIZEN. It has become the most important association dedicated to Zola and Naturalist Studies in North America, where it has put down roots. Our association boasts an ever-increasing number of members in Europe and most recently has made an entry into Central and Eastern Europe, a breakthrough that will broaden our investigation to include fields of study previously little explored. The AIZEN has also expanded to include research. There, too, it has had a significant impact, notably in Brazil. We have highlighted American naturalism, in particular cinema, thanks to Robert Singer's efforts to break new ground in this area. Furthermore, we gave special prominence to the importance of Zola and naturalism in Canada during the recent Edmonton conference. Since Zola studies are important in this country, we were able to invite specialists from across Europe to the last conference and solidify our international appeal.

        We have realized our principal goals. More than six hundred scholars have already gone through the doors of the AIZEN and contributed to the success of the ten conferences we have organized in the United States, Europe, and Canada, bringing participants from as far away as Australia, the Near and Far East, Eastern Europe, South America, and Africa. The reputations of the AIZEN and Excavatio are solidly established, as an association and a journal devoted to interdisciplinary and comparative studies related to Zola, his time, and naturalism, this latter both as a literary movement and as a form of representation that continues to the present day in all genres, including cinema. Naturalism is a field of study that is constantly unfolding and deserving of exploration. Our review has achieved excellence both in the quality of its content and in its appearance. The AIZEN Bulletin boasts an improved new format that makes it more attractive than before. And we have a web site that is constantly updated, providing information needed by members, authors, and conference participants. The web site also gives a retrospective of the AIZEN's last ten years and continues to inspire visitors' admiration.

        The AIZEN owes its continued success not only to the statement of precise intellectual goals, but also to our team spirit. Everyone in the AIZEN has worked together with passion, energy, and devotion. These qualities have made our association a vibrant place to share ideas and promote the circulation of knowledge, drawing both internationally known scholars and those at the beginning of their careers. I would like to thank Monique Fol for the legacy that she passed on to me and my closest collaborators for their loyalty and hard work, Robert Singer, Carolyn Snipes-Hoyt, Elizabeth Emery, Nancy Weston, Philip Hoyt, and Andrew Migdal.

        The Edmonton AIZEN Conference and Film Festival in September of 2000 were hosted by the University of Alberta and attended by more than seventy participants from fourteen different countries: Canada, USA, France, Israel, Poland, Russia, England, Italy, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Brazil, and Botswana. Our thanks go to Ken Norrie and to Nasrin Rahimieh, Dean and Associate Dean, respectively, of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta. We wish to express our gratitude to the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta, and especially to Don Bruce, Chair, and his staff. The AIZEN extends a special thank you to the local organizers, Edward Mozejko, Waclaw Osadnik, Massimo Verdicchio, and Raleigh Whitinger, of the University of Alberta, for establishing contacts abroad and helping to make the conference a huge success.

        We are especially indebted to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the University of Alberta who made the conference possible through generous grants and offer these institutions a hearty thank you. We wish to communicate our appreciation as well to the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland at Vancouver, the Polish Culture Society of Edmonton, the Canadian Centre for Austrian and Central European Studies, the Italian Institute of Culture in Vancouver, and the Alliance Française of Edmonton, for their support and contribution to the highly international character of this conference. Thanks to the above-mentioned organizations, we were able to invite delegations of specialists from Poland, Austria, France, and Italy. We are also grateful to the Departments of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies; Comparative Literature, Religion, and Film/Media Studies; and English, at the University of Alberta, for their financial contributions.

        Zola's influence in Canada and in Central Europe received special attention at the first conference to be held in Canada. The topics covered included Canadian reactions to the Dreyfus Affair, analyses of Zola's novels and short stories; psychoanalysis and sexuality in his works; laughter and madness in the Rougon-Macquart series and other naturalist fiction; Zola's literary antecedents and influences; his narrative strategies; and film adaptations of his novels. Other topics dealt with naturalism as a concept and its connection to other literary movements and naturalist fiction and cinema around the world, including specific aspects of naturalist representation. A special thank you to Elizabeth Emery for organizing a panel entitled "'A Rebours': Naturalism as Anti-Model in Turn-of-the-Twentieth-Century Europe" and to Juan Pablo Spicer-Escalante for the panel he organized entitled "Naturalism and Voyeurism."

        The AIZEN Cocktail, which took place in the lounge of the historic Arts Building, was our moment to honor the 75th anniversary of the death of Polish Nobel laureate in Literature (1924) Wladyslaw S. Reymont, in the presence of Grzegorz Swoboda, Consul from the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Vancouver. Robert Walenciak, Associate Editor of the Warsaw weekly Przeglad, gave a witty and eloquent speech about the influence of Zola on the famous Polish writer.

        At the reception preceding the Italian Naturalist Dinner at the Varscona Hotel, honored guest, Dr. Brigitte Emile-Zola, great granddaughter of the writer, made a special presentation entitled "Zola et ses enfants." We are grateful to her and her husband, Dr. Geoffroy Place, for making the trip to Canada to attend this conference. The AIZEN Award for the Best Graduate Student Paper was presented to Holly Woodson Waddell, of Northwestern University (USA), for her paper entitled "Venus in the Gutter: The Theatrics of Social Decline in Zola's Nana"; a longer version appears in Volume XV of Excavatio.

Robert Walenciak

        We were delighted to welcome foremost Zola scholars from France as our special guests. Colette Becker, professor at the University of Paris X-Nanterre and author of numerous books and articles on Emile Zola, read a paper entitled "Imagination, invention. L'esthétique zolienne à partir des dossiers préparatoires du romancier." Alain Pagès, professor at the University of Reims and Editor-in-Chief of Les Cahiers naturalistes, gave a paper entitled "Le retour à Zola (1931-1932)."

        The theme of the Sixth International Naturalist Film Festival was Canadian, featuring two films by Jean-Claude Lauzon, a talented French-Canadian filmmaker who was tragically killed in a plane crash: Night Zoo (1987) and Léolo (1993). Other films presented were The Savage Woman (1991) by Léa Pool, an intelligent yet melancholy feminist film text, and Canada's Sweetheart (1985) by Donald Brittain, a fascinating, factual film about corruption in Canadian trade unions.

"J'accuse...!" Zola attacks with his pen in defence of Dreyfus (from the Beitler collection)

        The Edmonton Conference ended with an excursion to the Rocky Mountains. Participants interacted more informally with colleagues, while enjoying the splendid scenery from a luxury coach. After a visit to historic Jasper, conference-goers returned to Edmonton in a mood of celebration and goodwill.

        We are thrilled to celebrate AIZEN's 10th anniversary American-style in Philadelphia, "the place that loves you back." We would like to thank Lucienne Frappier-Mazur, who initiated the project of bringing the AIZEN to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and Carlos J. Alonso, Chair, Department of Romance Languages, for hosting the event, and especially the French Institute for Culture and Technology and its new Director, Jean H. Gallier, for sponsoring this international conference. A special thank you to Juliette Parnet, Assistant Director of the French Institute for Culture and Technology, and to Jean-Marie Roulin and Maurice Samuels, from the Department of Romance Languages, for serving as local organizers. We thank Lorraine Beitler and the Beitler Family Foundation for sponsoring an exhibit entitled "Zola and the Dreyfus Affair: Intellectuals and the Struggle for Social Justice" in the Lessing J. Rosenwald Gallery of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library (University of Pennsylvania), and Michael Ryan, Director of the University Libraries. The Opening Wine and Cheese, offered by the French Institute for Culture and Technology, will take place on the evening of October 4 at this exhibit in the presence of dignitaries from the city of Philadelphia and members of the local Franco-American community.

        Honored guest Eric Cahm, and world-renowned specialist of the Dreyfus Affair, will give a paper entitled "Brave Champion of Truth or Insulter of the French Army? The View of Zola in France after "J'accuse...!" based on newspaper reports and letters addressed to Zola immediately after the publication in L'Aurore of his open letter to Félix Faure. Professor Cahm is International Secretary of the Société internationale d'histoire de l'affaire Dreyfus and author of two books on the Affair, one in French (Livre de Poche, 1994) and one in English (Longman, 1996), in addition to other works on contemporary French history. Recently, he published Les Temps de l'affaire Dreyfus (1897-1899), Volumes VI and VII of the Oeuvres de Jean Jaurès, in collaboration with Madeleine Rebérioux (Fayard, 2001).

        Zola the novelist is of course always a major component of AIZEN conferences. We are happy to welcome honored guest, Naomi Schor, specialist in the areas of Zola studies and feminist and nineteenth-century studies, to the Philadelphia conference. She will present a paper entitled "Visualizing Zola." She has authored and edited a number of landmark books for Zola scholars, including Zola's Crowds (John Hopkins University Press, 1978), Breaking the Chain: Women, Theory and French Realist Fiction (Columbia University Press, 1984), and Reading in Detail. Aesthetics and the Feminine (Routledge, Chapman and Hall, 1987). Special guest in the area of naturalist cinema is George Romero, best known for The Night of the Living Dead. We thank Tony Williams, author of the forthcoming George Romero: Knight of the Living Dead (Twayne Publishers), who has made all the arrangements for Mr. Romero's visit and will introduce him as part of the film festival.

        We are pleased that George Romero will comment on two of his naturalist films presented at the 7th Naturalist Film Festival: Dawn of the Dead (1979), a strange film about zombies in a suburban mall, depicts shopping as a carnivorous activity; Martin (1976) shows a young man suffering from an identity crisis. He believes he is a vampire and goes about proving it to the world. The Naturalist Film Festival will also feature two films on the Dreyfus Affair: Prisoner of Honor (1991), directed by Ken Russell, takes a unique look at the Dreyfus Affair, for it is told from the point of view of the (real) counterintelligence agent who confronts the French military establishment; I Accuse (1958), a film directed by José Ferrer, who also gives a compelling performance as Dreyfus, with a screenplay by Gore Vidal, recounts the horrific injustice contrived by the French military.

        Many interesting panels have been organized by participants. We would like to thank Rohini Bannerjee for organizing a panel on Thérèse Raquin and Rachel Mesch for another, entitled "Science and Sex: Desire in Zola and After." We thank Sayeeda Mamoon and Juan Spicer-Escalante for putting together a panel with the title "Uncontainable Bodies: Adulteresses, Androids, Androgynes, and Vampires in European and South American Literature." Our thanks go to Gayle Levy for organizing the panel "The Hero as Genius in Nineteenth-century France" and to Tony Williams for conceiving "American Psycho: Literary and Cinematic Naturalist Approaches." We thank Christopher Sharrett who will be the president and respondent for this panel. In addition, there will be panels on Zola's L'Oeuvre and Les Quatre Evangiles and on Theodore Dreiser, among other topics.

Opening AIZEN Cocktail 2000, Arts Building, University of Alberta

        All conference sessions will be held in Houston Hall, on the second and third floors: in the Ben Franklin Room, the Golkin Room, the Class of '49 Auditorium, and the Griski Room. Conference-goers will be able to get snacks, light meals, coffee, and other beverages at the Houston Market, located on the first floor of the same building as the sessions. For the first day of the conference, however, on October 4, we have arranged for a luncheon at the White Dog Café, 3420 Sansom Street (approx. $25.00 per person, everything included, except alcoholic beverages). In the evening, you may wish to go out for an elegant dinner. Philadelphia is known as one of the dining capitals of the world and many internationally renowned restaurants are within two miles of the University City.

        On Friday evening, October 5, at 8:00 p.m., the Naturalist Dinner for conference participants and their guests will take place in the Georgian Room at the Sheraton University City Hotel, at 36th and Chestnut Streets, and we invite you to join us for this event. The price per person will be $45.00, everything included. Only alcoholic beverages are extra. We have chosen a wide variety of dishes for the buffet, including vegetarian selections.

        The University City area was one of Philadelphia's first suburbs. You may wish to take a walking tour and learn about its history and architecture. On Sunday, October 7, we suggest a conference outing to the Rodin Museum (Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 22nd Street). After our visit to the museum, we will go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which is not far away. The excursion will end with lunch in the vicinity.

        Accommodations in Philadelphia have been arranged at two different hotels in the University City area, within walking distance of all conference events. Rooms have been blocked from October 3 through the night of October 6, in the Penn Tower Hotel, Civic Center Boulevard and 34th Street, at the special rate of US $115 per night (+14% tax), and in the Sheraton University City Hotel (36th & Chestnut Streets), at US $124 per night (+14% tax). The rate is the same at both hotels for single or double accommodation.

        Looking ahead to future AIZEN conferences, you will see some not-to-be-missed opportunities to present papers and share ideas with colleagues from North America and abroad. In June of 2002, we will celebrate the centenary of Zola's death at the University of Jaén, in Andalusia, Spain (June 13-15). We thank Encarnación Medina Arjona, of the Department de Lenguas y Culturas Mediterráneas on the Campus Las Lagunillas, for initiating and co-organizing this conference. We also thank the director of the department, Guadalupe Saiz Muñoz, for hosting the event. More than seventy participants from around the world are expected, and especially from Southern Europe and the Maghreb. Our special guest will be Professor Yves Chevrel, a world-renowned specialist in the area of naturalism and author of numerous books on the subject. Among the topics featured at the conference will be Spanish and Hispanic naturalism, in addition to Zola's connections to the African and Mediterranean world.

        The city of Jaén itself boasts a cathedral built during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, several other churches, a convent, a museum of Iberian art, and a Moorish castle. We thank Encarnación Medina for offering to organize an excursion for conference participants to the Alhambra, in Granada.

        In 2003, the 12th International AIZEN Conference will take place from October 9-11, at the University of Texas in San Antonio, a beautiful old Spanish city, where you can take an enchanting moonlit cruise on the river and learn about local lore. We convey our thanks to Jeanne Campbell Reesman, Interim Dean of Graduate Studies, for initiating the project and making preliminary and local arrangements. We also thank Santiago Daydí-Tolson, Director of the Division of Foreign Languages, who will host the conference.

        We have good news to report about our members. Congratulations go to Carmen Mayer-Robin (AIZEN Award 2000), who finished her doctorate. She successfully defended a dissertation entitled "Pathologies of a Post-Enlightenment Siècle de Nerfs: Alimentation and Intoxication in Flaubert, Zola, Huysmans." Hats off to Pedro Paolo Catharina who completed a doctoral thesis on the relationship between painting and literature in A Rebours and in the critical writing of Huysmans. In his book entitled In Mortal Combat: The Conflict of Life and Death in Zola's Rougon-Macquart (Summa, 2000), Kristof Haavik views the general theme of the series as a bitter opposition, an epic struggle conceived by Zola in terms of recent scientific developments in the area of biology and, in particular, with regard to Darwinian ideas on evolution and heredity. Together with Anne-Simone Dufief, Colette Becker published the conference proceedings of "Relecture des 'petits' naturalistes" (Université de Paris X, 2000). This collection of critical essays presents re-readings of naturalist genres and/or authors situated outside the normal canon. Robert Singer, who has been promoted to Full Professor at Kingsborough Community College (CUNY), just completed the edition of a volume entitled The Brooklyn Film (McFarland, 2001). Elizabeth Emery has a book coming out with SUNY Press in August 2001: Romancing the Cathedral: Gothic Architecture in Fin-de-Siècle French Culture. And finally, Carolyn Snipes-Hoyt has been appointed Assistant Professor of French at the University of Lethbridge, in Canada. We wish her good luck in her new position.

        Volumes XIV, Nos. 1-2, and XV, Nos. 3-4, of Excavatio are now available. Henceforth, this journal will be published twice a year. Not only do the numbers of excellent articles submitted warrant this new schedule, but also our need to widen Excavatio circulation. The physical aspect of the review has again been improved, in both the quality and the size of the paper used. As for the format, the journal now conforms to MLA's international guidelines, since we receive a large number of submissions from abroad.

        Volume XIV contains 27 articles listed under the following headings: Zola's Short Texts and Pre-texts; The Rougon-Macquart Series: Novel and Film; Naturalism as Politics and Philosophy; Other French and Belgian Naturalist Writers; and a special section bearing the label Naturalism Against Other Literary Movements. In addition to the articles presented in this volume, we have included the text of the speech Robert Walenciak gave in honor of Wladyslaw Reymont at the AIZEN conference in Edmonton.

        Volume XV contains 28 articles. The categories are as follows: Zola's Novels: Text and Film; Naturalism, Feminism, Misogyny; Specularity in Art and Literature; Naturalism in Central Europe and North America; and a special section labeled The Reception of Zola and the Dreyfus Affair Abroad. I am happy to announce that Carolyn Snipes-Hoyt has been named Associate Editor of Excavatio and will work along with Elizabeth Emery in this capacity. We are delighted to welcome Gust Olson, our new Editorial Assistant. His knowledge, effciency, and keen eye in making text copy-ready are greatly appreciated. With all my heart, I would like to thank Nancy Weston, who gave ten years willingly to the AIZEN, as graphic designer and production manager for all AIZEN materials. We pay homage for her exceptional kindness and generosity. After all her hard work, we wish her a pleasant retirement. We encourage you to take the necessary steps for your library to subscribe to Excavatio. Your support is essential to its success.

        We still have many projects to accomplish, as a consequence of our desire to press forward and explore new territory. As president of the AIZEN, I have settled on goals of three different kinds for the future. First of all, I would like to organize AIZEN conferences in countries such as Brazil, Israel, and Japan, where there is a strong interest in Zola and naturalism. We are already on the verge of realizing this goal, since the AIZEN conference of 2004 will convene in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The second goal is to publish more collections of articles, based on the wealth of material submitted by members of the AIZEN. In this area, too, we have begun to make good on our promise, since the collection I edited, and for which I wrote the preface, entitled L'Ecriture du féminin chez Zola et dans la fiction naturaliste, will come out with Peter Lang in 2001. Our third goal is to move into new areas of study, such as naturalism in the media, or to make available researchers' work on lesser known naturalist texts from regions such as Scandinavia or Northern or sub-Saharan Africa. I thank all of you for the numerous expressions of support and encouragement that come to me every day. You give me the strength and energy to continue.

        I look forward to seeing you in Philadelphia and until then I wish you, on behalf of the entire team, a pleasant and productive summer!

        Anna Gural-Migdal, the 11th of July, 2001

9th AIZEN International Portfolio, University of Alberta, 20-22 September, 2000.

(From left) Robert Singer, Don Bruce, and Grzegosz Swoboda

Chère Anna,
Je vous écris pour vous remercier encore une fois pour ce colloque extraordinaire auquel j'ai eu la chance de participer. J'ai apprecié, comme toujours, l'excellente organisation de l'événement; je suis contente d'avoir eu l'occasion d'écouter un nombre considérable de communications dont j'ai beaucoup admiré la qualité. Les invités d'honneur, les participants de l'Europe Centrale et de l'Est, l'excursion à Jasper et tous les petits détails qu'on n'enregistre pas sur place, ont tous fait de ce colloque une vraie réussite.

Mihaela Marin, Ohio State University, USA

Chère Anna,
Voilà une semaine que je suis rentré d'Edmonton. Je voudrais encore vous remercier du superbe accueil. C'était impeccable! Vraiment. Et surtout, le colloque a été très sympa et productif. J'en ai beaucoup profité pour ma thèse, testant mon travail à propos de Huysmans. En tant que "touriste", j'ai beaucoup apprécié de découvrir Edmonton, ma première approche de l'Amérique du Nord. En plus, l'occasion de rencontrer des collègues du monde entier a été formidable.

Dans l'attente de vous lire,
- Pedro Paulo Catharina, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Dear Professor,
May I convey my sincere thanks to you and your husband for the kind hospitality accorded to me on the occasion of the 9th International AIZEN Conference in Edmonton. I am very happy to have had the opportunity to meet you personally. I would like to express once again my admiration for the wonderful organization and unforgettable trip to Jasper.

Thank you and good luck.
Yours sincerely,
- Wojciech Tomasik, University of Bydgoszcz, Poland

Chère Anna,
Félicitations pour ce merveilleux colloque que vous avez organisé à Edmonton. C'était admirable à tous points de vue: planification des séances, déroulement, etc. Le nombre d'invités très prestigieux a conféré à cette rencontre une qualité exceptionnelle. Et je ne parle pas de la richesse des communications! Un grand merci pour tout!

Meilleurs voeux,
- Jurate Kaminskas, Queen's University, Canada

Dear Anna,
Thank you again for your hospitality and all your help with everything at the conference. I hope we will meet again at the next one.

À la prochaine.
- Kristof Haavik, University of Botswana, Botswana

Dear Anna,
On returning home I would like very much to say that the AIZEN conference was a great success. It impressed me both on the personal and intellectual level. You are a devoted "naturalist" and a brilliant organizer. Congratulations!
I wish you the best of luck with the next sessions and hope to meet you next year in Philadelphia (if my theme is of interest to the AIZEN).

Best wishes to you and your family,
With love,
- Vasily Tolmatchoff, Lomonosov State University of Moscow, Russia

Dearest Anna:
I would like to congratulate and thank you, Carolyn, Robert and your husband Andrew for the tremendous and Herculean effort that it took to put on AIZEN 2000, which was, without a doubt, a major success. I have been to a number of conferences during my short academic career, but never have I 1) learned as much or 2) had as much fun as I had in Edmonton. I truly enjoyed the experience (which continued on the plane since Iole, Sayeeda and I sat together!!!).
I look forward to AIZEN 2001 in Philadelphia and wish you the best!

- Juan Pablo Spicer-Escalante, Oakland University, USA

Bonjour Anna:
Juste un petit mot pour vous remercier d'un colloque formidable, et bien organisé. J'espère que vous vous reposez maintenant après tant d'efforts.

À bientôt, j'espère,
- Janice Best, Acadia University, Canada

Dear Anna Gural-Migdal and dear Carolyn Snipes-Hoyt,
Thank you so much for making my participation in the 9th AIZEN International Conference on Emile Zola and Naturalism an unforgettable experience. I enjoyed meeting you both and along with you so many other specialists on Zola and naturalism, especially your honored guests Colette Becker and Alain Pagès. I also enjoyed listening to Dr. Brigitte Emile-Zola and her private look on Zola. The intimate nature of the conference was very pleasant and I found the presentations given very stimulating.
And, everything was so well organized! I am sorry that I had to miss the trip to Jasper, I am sure you had a great day.
I look forward to the possiblility of participating again.

Un grand merci à vous deux,
J'espère pouvoir participer de nouveau à l'avenir.
- Ester Hoogstaden, Ohio State University, USA

AIZEN Conference 2000, University of Alberta

Dear Mrs. President, dear Anna,
Let me just say thank you to you for your hospitality and the perfect organisation of the conference. Werner and I really enjoyed it and we know that without your efforts it would have been impossible for us to come. I do hope we meet again some day, perhaps in Vienna?

Kindest regards, yours
- Karl Wagner, University of Vienna, Austria

Dear Carolyn,
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you once again for the friendly welcome and the warm congeniality of the gathering in Edmonton. I very much enjoyed my stay, and hope that we will meet again.
Best wishes and greetings from Vienna,

- Karl Wagner, University of Vienna, Austria

Dear Prof. Gural-Migdal,
We have arrived safely in Poland. Thank you again for your invitation. I really had good time at the conference. Excellent job!!!

All the best, you are always welcome in Cracow.
- Andrzej Pitrus, Jagiellonian University, Poland

Chère Madame,
De retour en Pologne j'ai hâte de vous dire combien je suis heureux d'avoir pu prendre part au Congrès que vous avez organisé avec le talent et l'énergie qui vous sont propres. J'ai beaucoup apprécié la participation d'éminents spécialistes et de savants que j'ai pu rencontrer au cours de mon séjour à Edmonton. Et je n'oublie pas le fait que c'est grâce à votre effort et votre appui que j'ai pu revoir votre belle ville et votre Université. Je voudrais donc vous offrir mes remerciements les plus sincères pour les beaux jours passés au Canada.
Croyez, chère Madame, à l'assurance de ma respectueuse et très vive affection ainsi qu'à mes sentiments de gratitude. Veuillez bien dire bonjour de ma part à Monsieur.

- Aleksander Ablamowicz, University of Silesia, Poland

Dear Anna,
Unfortunately I was unable to say goodbye to you in person and to thank you for such an enjoyable conference. It was great to meet new people and to hear such a variety of interesting papers. I appreciated how much organisation must have gone into the event and hope that you are now going to have a well deserved rest!!

Many thanks once again.
Best wishes
- Danielle Bishop, University of Plymouth, England

Dear Professor Gural-Migdal,
Just a note to let you know how much I enjoyed the well-organized and truly international AIZEN Conference in Edmonton. As someone without too many academic credentials in naturalism (though I have been long a great admirer of Zola and was thrilled to encounter Dr. Emile-Zola) I found the comments on my paper (including your own) very heartening.

Very best from Regina,
- Nicholas Ruddick, University of Regina, Canada

Dear Anna,
Thank you for a superbly well organized conference. Although I could not attend every session, I did hear twelve papers. They were very interesting and gave me much food for thought.
Congratulations on an excellent and truly international gathering.

All the best,
- Natalia Pylypiuk, University of Alberta, Canada

Dear Anna,
The thanks go to you, for an unforgettable week in Alberta. I hope I have the opportunity to attend other conferences like the AIZEN's: to be able to listen, learn, and practice my own conference skills in such a positive, stimulating intellectual environment was a privilege.
The day in Jasper was the perfect end to a superb few days. Many, many thanks to all.
Hope to see you next year in Philadelphia.

Best wishes, and thanks again.
- Jeremy Worth, University of Western Ontario, Canada

Chère collègue,
Je vous envoie toutes mes félicitations pour le beau Colloque que vous avez si bien organisé et tous mes remerciements pour l'accueil chaleureux que vous nous avez réservé à tous.

Veuillez recevoir, chère collègue, mon cordial hommage.
- Mario Petrone, University of Naples, Italy

(From left) Kelly Basilio, Hélène Poiré, and Margot Versteeg

Chère Anna,
Moult souvenirs ffuent à ma mémoire depuis la fin septembre, en regard du Congrès de l'AIZEN. Bien sûr, c'est votre visage qui émerge de l'ensemble, à travers votre générosité jamais démentie ... manifeste dans votre présence chaleureuse ... votre réception vis-à-vis les questions de chacun/e ... votre souci du confort des uns et des autres ... votre choix des invités: Mesdames Brigitte Émile-Zola et Colette Becker; Monsieur Alain Pagès ... et votre don rassembleur.
Bref, pour la réussite inconditionnelle de cet événément, je signe un grand merci! À Carolyn et à Robert (auxquels j'adresserai un mot ...), vos collaborateurs attentifs et efficaces...j'ajoute un autre grand merci...!

- Hélène Poiré, Université Laval, Canada

Bonjour Carolyn,
Votre présence, à la fois, toute simple et même parfois, effacée... au coeur du Congrès de l'AIZEN, a été remarquée de tous, j'en suis certaine ... Pour ces apparitions aux moments opportuns, pour votre sensibilité, pour votre sourire... un grand merci !

Au plaisir de vous revoir ...
- Hélène Poiré, Université Laval, Canada

Dear Professor Snipes-Hoyt,
I really enjoyed the Conference, and I hope to participate again next year. Thanks for all of your hard work!

- Holly Haahr, Yeshiva University, USA

Chère Anna,
Je t'écris pour te remercier de la conférence extravagante. Quelle réussite monstre! Tout le monde s'est régalé entre les bonnes communications, les dîners délicieux et les excursions. André a aussi été exceptionnel et c'était un vrai plaisir de faire sa connaissance.
Donc repose-toi bien après tous tes efforts.

Grosses bises et félicitations,
- Elizabeth Emery, Montclair State University, USA

Dear Carolyn,
I am writing quite belatedly to thank you immensely for the wonderful AIZEN Conference. It was a true pleasure to be in Edmonton among so many wonderful scholars and to participate in so many great discussions. Hurrah! Everything went smashingly well and everyone had a great time. Thanks for making it all happen....
- Elizabeth Emery, Montclair State University, USA

Dear Anna
Thank you again for the wonderful conference. I loved it and am so proud to have won the prize this year. I put the poster above my desk and am trying to convert new Zola students. I already know that the topic of my paper next year will be on La Curée. Hope you are doing great.

- Holly Woodson Waddell, Northwestern University, USA

Chère Madame,
Vous m'avez prise de vitesse, je comptais réserver une minute pour vous remercier de ce chaleureux accueil et de cette joyeuse et studieuse conférence ...
Encore merci,
- Nelly Sanchez, University of Haifa, Israel

(From left) Dominique Laporte, Christopher Rivers, Jeremy Worth, and Klaus Peter Walter

Chère Madame,
Je vous remercie beaucoup de m'avoir invitée au colloque AIZEN sur Zola et le Naturalisme et à tout ce qui entourait cet événement. Mes félicitations! La conférence était très riche et très intéressante aux niveaux scientifique, social et organisationnel. Les communications ont enrichi les études sur Zola et sur l'influence de son oeuvre jusqu'à nos jours. J' y ai trouvé beaucoup d'inspiration pour mon propre travail sur la littérature du XXème siècle. Tout cela grâce à vous!

Bien cordialement à vous,
- Bozena Tokarz, University of Silesia, Poland

Chère Anna,
Je voulais vous remercier ainsi que vos collègues et assistants à Edmonton de nous avoir si chaleureusement accueillis au 9ième colloque de l'AIZEN. Le programme (les communications étaient toutes d'une excellente qualité), le banquet, et l'excursion à Jasper étaient tellement bien organisés, et si agréables. J'ai surtout apprecié le cadeau qui m'a été offert par l'AIZEN pour mon anniversaire: en effet, le coq gaulois se trouve étalé sur mon bureau à la fac. Je garderai de très bons souvenirs de mon séjour chez vous à l'Université de l'Alberta.
- Sayeeda Mamoon, Edgewood College, USA

Chère Anna,
Je comptais t'envoyer ce petit mot dès mon retour mais j'étais tout à fait débordée. C'est fou le travail qui peut s'accumuler en une semaine! Merci pour un excellent colloque, très bien organisé, avec des invités de choix, de très bonnes communications, et une excursion inoubliable au parc national de Jasper. Il est clair que l'AIZEN est en plein essor!

Bien cordialement,
- Marie-Sophie Armstrong, Lehigh University, USA

Chère Anna,
Edmonton-Londres, Londres-Paris... me voici de retour, un peu "déroutée" mais très, très heureuse du séjour que nous avons fait au Canada, à Edmonton.
Merci chère Anna pour ce colloque important et varié, si bien organisé et dans un cadre si charmant. Que de gentillesse, de propreté, de courtoisie, d'espace ... Merci à vous-même et à toute l'équipe de l'AIZEN, sans oublier votre mari.
Avec notre meilleur souvenir, Ray se joint à moi et tous deux vous envoyons nos salutations les plus cordiales.

A bientôt par e-mail.
- Chantal Morel, Institut Français de Londres, UK

Chère Anna Gural-Migdal,
Permettez-moi de vous remercier à nouveau de votre accueil à l'Université de l'Alberta. Je garderai un excellent souvenir de l'événement et j'espère participer régulièrement aux colloques de l'AIZEN.

Dans l'attente de votre réponse, je vous prie d'agréer, chère collègue, mes plus cordiales salutations.
- Dominique Laporte, University of Manitoba, Canada

Chère Anna,
Je comptais justement t'ecrire (je reviens tout juste de Montréal ou j'ai prolongé mon séjour au Canada) pour te dire combien j'ai aimé te retrouver ainsi qu'Edmonton et tous les gens et les lieux que j'avais déjà connus en 94; combien aussi j'ai apprécié le colloque et toutes ses qualites scientifiques, artistiques et humaines et la compétence et la chaleur de ses organisateurs!
J'aimerais, bien sûr, beaucoup - et j'espère que cela me sera possible - retrouver tout cela à Philadelphie.
Encore une fois, merci et bravo!

Je t'embrasse.
Amitiés à tous tes collaborateurs et amis ainsi qu'à tous les tiens.
- Kelly Basilio, University of Lisbon, Portugal

Dear Anna,
Thank you very much for the immense work that you and your team did to organize the conference. I was touched by your warm and personal welcome. It is your personal style which created a very open, non-intimidating atmosphere. Also, I found most of the papers I heard very stimulating and inspiring. Unfortunately, I came down with the flu at the conference and missed a number of talks that I had planned to attend. Hopefully, I will be able to read some of them in your next
With warm wishes, and thank you again,
- Ruth Schürch-Halas, University of Calgary, Canada

Chère Anna,
Vous permettez que je vous appelle ainsi? C'est beaucoup plus agréable, maintenant que l'on se connaît! Je vous écris d'abord pour vous faire savoir combien j'ai aimé l'ambiance sympathique, relaxe et studieuse de l'AIZEN. J'en garde vraiment de très bons souvenirs!
Le dernier jour de la conférence, je n'ai pas pu récupérer l'exemplaire de ma thèse que j'avais remis à Carolyn pour la table d'exposition. Ce n'est pas grave du tout, au contraire: j'ai le plaisir de vous l'offrir pour vous personnellement ou éventuellement pour la bibliothèque.

A bientôt,
- Marjolein van Tooren, Free University, The Netherlands

Chère Anna,
Merci encore une fois de votre hospitalité "edmontonienne". La conference sur Zola et le naturalisme, et tout ce qui l'a accompagnée, ont été vraiment fort réussis et m'ont laissé un souvenir inoubliable. Son niveau intellectuel était très élevé et l'atmosphère chaleureuse que vous avez créée, l'a rendue en plus très agréable et sympathique.
Bien cordialement à vous,
- Halina Suwala, University of Warsaw, Poland

Chère Anna,
Je vous félicite, vous et ceux qui vous aident d'avoir donné un tel essor à l'AIZEN, d'arriver a rassembler tant de participants de tant de nationalités, des jeunes et des moins jeunes, tous heureux de se rencontrer et de parler du XIXe siècle et du XXe siècle. C'est ce qui m'a frappé si fort, cette passion, ces échanges, ce renouveau qu'apporte l'association et dont je ne vois guère l'équivalent en France!
Si tout va bien, je serai tout à fait ravie d'aller à la rencontre d'Espagne.

Encore mille fois merci, chère Anna, à vous deux et aux autres. J'espère que nous nous verrons à Paris. Permettez-moi de vous embrasser.
- Colette Becker, Université de Paris X-Nanterrre, France

Chère Anna,
Cette lettre me permet de te remercier encore pour ta gentillesse, ton attention constante tout au long des journées passées à Edmonton, et pour la grande qualité intellectuelle du colloque.
L'entreprise fondée par Monique Fol, il y a presque dix ans maintenant, a désormais acquis une solidité et une ampleur qui lui permettent aujourd'hui de rayonner au sein des études zoliennes.
A l'évidence, ce succès doit être porté à ton crédit. Il tient aussi au dévouement de l'équipe qui t'entoure, à la compétence et au talent d'organisateurs que manifestent Carolyn Snipes-Hoyt et Robert Singer.

Bien amicalement à toi, et à André, dont j'ai été très heureux de faire la connaissance.
- Alain Pagès, Université de Reims, France

AIZEN Conference 2000, University of Alberta

Dear Professor Gural-Migdal,
What a splendid setting for this year's conference and what a stimulating meeting. I am happy to report that the panel you put together on naturalism and philosophy generated a very lively discussion, and, it appears, much interest.

- Didier Maleuvre, University of California at Santa Barbara, USA

Chère Anna,
J'ai été vraiment touché par votre accueil. Vous devez être contente de ce colloque si riche, vraiment international et interdisciplinaire, qui a couronné tant d'efforts de vous-même et de Carolyn. Tout était efficace et en même temps convivial, malgré le froid dehors! Un grand merci.

Toutes mes amitiés et dites bonjour à votre mari,
- Eric Cahm, Université de Tours, France

Chère Anna,
Je pense encore avec émotion à la réunion de l'AIZEN. Grâce a votre diligence et à celle de Robert, Carolyn, sans oublier l'aide précieuse de votre mari, ce colloque, a été un succès et un plaisir que nous n'oublierons pas de si tôt.

Très cordialement,
- Gilbert Darbouze, Bloomsburg University, USA

Dear Anna,
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for a wonderful conference. In terms of quantity, quality and diversity, the selection of papers was most impressive and I learned a great deal from what I heard. You also succeeded in making the conference a pleasurable experience on a personal level (the excursion to Jasper was delightful), which I very much appreciated. Please keep up the good work!
Best regards,
- Christopher Rivers, Mount Holyoke College, USA

Chère Madame,
Sachez que j'ai beaucoup apprécié la conférence d'Alberta et que j'aimerais participer à une conférence ultérieure mais l'automne 2001 me paraît une période un peu difficile pour moi car j'aurai un troisième enfant d'ici là.
Je vous remercie encore de la qualité de votre accueil.

Bien à vous,
- Florence Fix, University of Bourgogne, France

2000 AIZEN Award: Holly Woodson Waddell

Dear Prof. Gural-Migdal,
I take this opportunity to thank you for your kindness and hospitality during the Edmonton/Rockies conference.
All the best and I look forward to collaborating with you again.

- Wieslaw Godzic, Jagiellonian University, Poland

Chère Madame,
Je profite de l'occasion pour vous remercier encore une fois très chaleureusement de l'accueil et de l'hospitalité que vous m'avez assurés à Edmonton. Le séjour chez vous était on ne peut plus fascinant.

Bien amicalement,
- Klaus Peter Walter, University of Passau, Germany

Dear Dr. Gural-Migdal,
I enjoyed becoming acquainted with the AIZEN group so much. I felt right at home, as though I'd belonged for years!! I wish you a good end of term as well.
I am looking forward to putting a proposal together for Philadelphia.

With regards,
- Iole Checcone, Youngstown State University, USA

Dear Anna,
It was a splendid Conference and whole-hearted thanks are due to you and your AIZEN team for making it such a success and such a splendid advertisement for Zola studies in Edmonton and North America. I know that our French colleagues were equally impressed and I am sure they have let you know.
Again with many thanks for such an enjoyable few days with so many Zola (and film) enthusiasts.

Best wishes,
- Russell Cousins, University of Birmingham, UK

Dear Professor Gural-Migdal,
Thank you very much for enabling me to attend the AIZEN Conference in Edmonton. It was a pleasure to participate in the conference and to meet you, your colleagues and some of the other participants. (Due to a cold I had to miss the trip to Jasper).
Thank you again for the rewarding experience in Edmonton and with best wishes,

- Sigfrid Hoefert, University of Waterloo, Canada

Chère Anna,
Merci de ton accueil lors du colloque: j'ai été ravi de ce premier contact avec le Canada.

Bon courage et à bientòt,
Bien amicalement,
- Francis Lacoste, University of Sousse, Tunisia

Dear Prof. Gural-Migdal,
Thank you for inviting me to the AIZEN Conference. I greatly enjoyed the intellectual feast as well as the stunning (if wintry) surroundings.

- Vijay J. Mascarenhas, Hunter College, USA

Chère collègue,
Je dois vous remercier du chaleureux accueil que vous nous avez réservé à Edmonton, de la réussite extraordinaire du colloque, qui a vu rassemblé un grand nombre de zoliens, et de la joie que nous avons eue de vous connaître , et de connaître un si beau pays qui nous a accueillis si généreusement.
Remerciez , je vous prie, tous les collègues de votre équipe, et particulièrement Massimo Verdicchio.
J'espère vous revoir à Philadelphie.

Tous mes meilleurs voeux, et mon amitié.
- Gian Carlo Menichelli, University of Naples, Italy

Dear Professor Gural-Migdal,
I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the conference and am looking forward to seeing you again in Philadelphia.

- Jeffrey Oxford, University of North Texas, USA

Dear Professor Gural-Migdal,
I want to take this opportunity to express again my appreciation for the beautifully organized and truly rewarding conference in Edmonton.
I was happy to make your acquaintance and hope to see you in Pennsylvania.

Best wishes,
- Pilar V. Rotella, Chapman University, USA

Dear Anna,
I would like to thank you personally for inviting me to the 9th International AIZEN Conference on Emile Zola and Naturalism and command you for the excellent way you organized the event.
You have truly continued the innovative work of Dr. Monique Fol in promoting Zola and Naturalism not only in North America but throughout the world. The panels were all stimulating, especially those involving the contribution from academics in Poland. I think this is the first time I can remember that a sizable contingent from this country presented papers.
The conference you organized this year represents a credit not only to your dedicated work but also to your own University, which has every reason to be proud of such a distinguished person as yourself in their midst. You worked very hard throughout the event and brought over many distinguished scholars such as Dr. Brigitte Emile-Zola and Dr. Colette Becker whose presence enthralled us all.
I'm sure this will be the first of many distinguished events that you will organize on behalf of AIZEN. However, the Alberta conference will always remain in my mind (as well as others) as one of the most stimulating academic gatherings that Canada has seen for some time.
I look forward to seeing you again at next year's conference.

Yours sincerely,
- Tony Williams, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, USA

Chère Anna,
Je voudrais vous remercier beaucoup pour l'accueil très chaleureux que vous m'avez fait à Edmonton. Malgré le fait que je n'avais osé parler de Zola auparavant, je me sentais entre amis et entièrement à l'aise pendant le colloque. Je pense que cet état de bien-être était largement dû aux soins de Carolyn, de Robert et de vous-même, bien sûr. Je suis déjà en train de mijoter quelque chose pour le prochain colloque.
Je vous prie d'agréer, chère collègue, mes salutations les plus cordiales.
- Pauline Wahl Willis, University of Calgary, Canada

Natalia Pylypiuk and Oleh Ilnytzkyj

Très chère Anna,
Le Canada m'a enthousiasmé parce que j'ai été ravi de ma rencontre avec l'AIZEN, l'atmosphère multiculturelle et ouverte que l'on retrouve dans cette association, le climat chaleureux et collégial très loin de la méfiance et parfois de l'agressivité dont j'ai fait l'expérience dans d'autres colloques, le très grand professionnalisme des organisateurs, et non des moindres, le désir de se connaître, de se divertir ensemble (je pense au "bel canto" dans l'autobus lors de l'excursion à Jasper). Et si l'AIZEN est en mesure d'offrir tout cela, c'est parce que tu en es l'âme.
Je t'embrasse très fort et je te remercie pour les splendides journées passées au Canada.
- Arturo Larcati, University of Salzburg, Austria

Chère Anna,
Sachez que votre équipe et spécialement vous-même méritez toutes les félicitations pour la réalisation du colloque, qui a vraiment été une réussite totale. Le format est excellent, ainsi que les conditions de travail dont j'ai pu être témoin. Encore une fois, un grand merci pour l'accueil si chaleureux. Et "chapeau" pour tout.

A très bientôt, j'espère.
Bien à vous,
- Ligia Vassallo, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Dearest Anna,
I had a wonderful time in Alberta. Edmonton is a great city (with a great mall) and the conference went very well, I thought. It was a true delight to meet Alain Pagès and Colette Becker, not to mention your charming husband.

I can't wait to see you again in Philly!
All my best wishes,
- Pamela Wilson, California State University, Los Angeles, USA

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