Seminars organised by the Society


Zola’s Paris: the spaces of proto-modernism (Professor Susan Harrow);

Some pictures of Paris (Professor Patrick Pollard);

Capital ventures and venture capital: the hedonistic Paris of speculation and decadence in La Curée and L’Argent (Dr Russell Cousins);

Zola, the Dreyfus Affair and the intellectuals (Professor Jeremy Jennings).


Zola’s role in the 19th century war on ‘taste’ (Professor Alison Finch);

Blond Venus/Black Venus: Zola’s Nana and other primitive displays in the Parisian Variety Theatre (Professor Rae Beth Gordon);

Tasting the Second Empire (Professor Anne Green);

Flaubert’s Bad Taste (Professor Tim Unwin).


Dreyfus, Vérité, and Zola’s fin-de-siècle Sexual Politics (Dr A J Counter);

Passive criminals, Absent convicts: Zola’s break with traditional criminal characterization (Cécilia Falgas-Ravry);

Seeing Ghosts with Zola: La Curée in the shadow of the Commune (Dr Jann Matlock);

Saints, Sinners, Pigs and Ordure. Emile Zola through the eyes of others (Keith Howell).


There was no Saturday Seminar in 2013, because of the International Colloquium of that year.


Translating Zola's L'Argent (Professor Valerie Minogue);

Regeneration, from Death to Life in the Rougon-Macquart (Kit Yee Wong);

Shaping Vice: Flaubert's Sous Napoléon III (Professor Anne Green);

Plague, sewer, cesspool: fin de siècle mirrors of the mass press. Zola, Maupassant and The Hornet’s Life (Dr Kate Rees

21 March 2015 at the Institut français du Royaume-Uni:
Zola’s Priests

Atheism, joie de vivre and Zola's women (Professor Alison Finch);

Zola, the priest and the flower (Dr Aude Campmas);

Zola and his priests (John Hackett);

Zola's Perverted Priests (Professor Patrick Pollard).

19 March 2016 at Senate House, University of London:
Scenes of Domestic Life

Threshold Magic? Impressionism and the Domestic (Claire Moran);

“Let all be set forth”. Art and Life in The Masterpiece and Dr Pascal |( Eileen Horne);

Zola: (Not) At Home in England (Hannah Scott).

25 March 2017 at Senate House, University of London:
Zola: Clothes and Character

Fashion, Art & Zola (Eileen Ribeiro);

The interplay of fabric and disguise in Au Bonheur des dames (Danielle Bishop);

Designs for Ladies: The Life of Charles Frederick Worth, 1825-1895 (David King);

Costume and Presence, Costume and Absence: Some Elusive Characters in Flaubert and Zola (Jennifer Yee).

2018 - No Saturday Seminar

13 April 2019 at Birkbeck College, University of London:
Politics in the Time of Émile Zola

Les Mystères de Marseille: Révolution in a Provincial City ( Alex Tranca);

Le Ventre de Paris, La Débâcle, George Saintsbury (Patrick Pollard);

Zola’s Most Political Novel – His Excellency Eugene Rougon (David King);

Faith, Medecine, and Healing in Zola’s Lourdes (Sarah Jones).

18 April 2020: Zola’s Women

Covid 19 prevented the Society from meeting – three of the papers which would have been presented:

On the scent: the revelatory nature of fragrance for the women of The Rougon-Macquart (Danielle Bishop);

Three Lives: La Maheude, Lisa Quenu, Renée Saccard (Keith Howell);

Saints and Sinners in Zola’s The Dream [Le Rêve] (Valerie Minogue).

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