Seventh INS Congress in Montreal Attracts Scholars from
Around the World

 

 

The magnificent Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, host to the Congress

 

The Seventh International Napoleonic Congress was held at the Museum of Fine Arts in the beautiful city of Montréal, Canada, June 8–12, 2009. This was the first time an INS Congress was held in North America, a fact that encouraged an increase in participation from Canadians. Scholars and students from Canada, the US, France, the Czech Republic and the Republic of Georgia presented papers and a paper from a Greek scholar was also read.

Mark Billings, Dennis Pots, John Fournier, Susan and Ron Conner, Barbara Markham, Ewa Fournier,
Angela and Bill Nester, Countess Élaine and Count Alexandre Bothuri Bàthory,
Monique and Jean Deranceschi, President David Markham, Ruth Godfrey,
Jack Sigler and Peter Friedman share their friendship Sunday evening at Garçon restaurant.


The presentation of scholarly papers is the heart of any academic congress, but close behind is the chance to socialize with people from around the world to share ideas and simply enjoy the company of those who share your interest. To that end, the first function of the Congress was for many of the participants to share drinks and a meal at the restaurant Garçon on Sunday evening.

 

On Monday, 8 June, the program began with an opening ceremony. We were escorted by members of the 3rd regiment of Infantery de Ligne, an expert group of Canadian Empire re-enactors who joined us for the week and added a great deal of excitement to the Congress. INS President David Markham welcomed the guests to the Congress and then presented Huguette Weider, Ben Weider’s widow, Ben’s posthumous Legion of Merit, the INS’ highest award, ‘For his many years of service to the Emperor.’ That ceremony was followed by welcoming remarks by Danielle Champagne, Director of Communications for the museum, Marcel Parent, President of the Montreal City Council, Senator Serge Joyal, a close friend of the Weiders, and Mark Billings, a member of the board of directors for the Souvenir Napoléon. Huguette Weider closed the ceremony with an eloquent and emotional welcome in French, English and Spanish.

 


David Markham, Senator Serge Joyal, Huguette Weider and museum Director of
Communications Danielle Champagne at the opening ceremonies.

 

President Markham gives Huguette Weider a posthumous Legion of Merit
for her late husband, INS founder Ben Weider.

 

Members of the Brigade Napoleon prepare to take Colonel Peter Friedman into custody!

 

The opening ceremony completed, Ivane Menteshashvili of the Republic of Georgia opened the first session, which included presentations from Benoît Roger (France), John Stanley (Canada) and David Stefancic (USA) speaking on various aspects of Poland during the Napoleonic period. The second session was opened by John Stanley, and featured an eclectic group of speakers from France, Canada and the USA. Of special interest was Canadian Chris Franke’s presentation on researching a specific Napoleonic officer: his presentation was given in full-dress uniform! Sean Richarz (USA), who is composing a Napoleonic musical, gave some fascinating insight into just how one goes about doing that. Peter Friedman also gave his enthusiastic lecture on Marie Walewska in full period uniform.

 

Ambassador Delattre presents President Markham the Médaille d’or
du Rayonnement Culturel
on behalf of France.

 

Huguette Weider and composer Sean Richarz

 

Josephine and Napoleon (aka Mo Mershon and Craig Schell)
perform at the reception.

 

On Monday evening, the museum hosted a welcoming cocktail reception in their beautiful Hall of Mirrors, a room with a distinct Empire touch! It was a most memorable evening. To begin, his Excellency the Honorable François Delattre, Ambassador of France to Canada, presented INS President David Markham with the Médaille d’or du Rayonnement Culturel (Gold Medal for Cultural Radiance) ‘in the name of France.’ Recipients of this important French medal are determined by La Renaissance française, an international French cultural organization with the high patronage of the French President and the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Interior, Defense and National Education. The medal recognized Markham’s almost quarter of a century promoting French culture and history.

President David Markham with his excellency the Ambassador of France, François Delattre and Jacques Duchesneau, the President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Air Transport Security Authority

 

President Markham then awarded INS Eagles to a number of new Fellows in recognition of their special contributions to Napoleonic history. They were: Count Alexandre de Bothuri Bàthory; William Nester; Edna Mueller; Joan Blythe; Tara Luke; Peter Friedman; David Stefancic; Benoît Roger; and Maureen MacLeod.

 

The evening concluded with an outstanding performance by Sean Richarz, Mo Mershon and Craig Schell, who sang selections from Richarz’ musical on Napoleon’s 100 Days. That musical will debut in July 2010 in Seattle.

 

 

After the program was over, many of the participants adjourned to Les Pois Penché, one of Montreal’s finest French restaurants.

 

Tuesday was a day full of excellent presentations from Canadian and American scholars, as well as a paper presented en abstentia by Greek scholar Thomas Zacharis, and–an INS first!–an interview over Skype with Count François de Candé-Montholon of France. That use of technology foreshadowed later papers on technology. Among the more unique presentations were distinguished American Susan Conner’s paper on women in Napoleon’s armies, and INS Assistant to the President Rowayda Guirguis’ talk on the aftermath of Napoleon’s stay in Egypt.

 

After a long day, where better to go to the old city? Many participants took in the sound and light show at the Basilica Notre Dame and then spent a festive evening with friends in the best-named restaurant in Montreal: Bonapartes!

 

The Congress was held in Montreal largely to showcase Ben Weider’s donation of a major part of his impressive Napoleon collection to the Museum of Fine Arts. Wednesday’s program focused on Empire style and, of course, Ben’s impressive legacy. The first three speakers dealt with various aspects of the topic. American Ike Hay, a well-known art history scholar and artist in his own right, discussed the politics of the Empire style, while Marian Hochel of the Czech Republic looked at propaganda and cult issues. Count Alexandre de Bothuri Bàthory of the USA discussed a specific service of Archchancellor Cambacérès, numerous pieces of which he generously displayed throughout the Congress.

 

Service of Arch-chancellor Cambacérès

Edna Mueller visiting the Napoleonic Galleries

 

Craig Schell visiting the Ben Weider's Galleries

 

After the break we heard an excellent paper on French women and religion from FSU student Maureen MacLeod, and an outstanding paper on the often-ignored question of Napoleonic diplomacy from American William Nester. Then President Markham introduced Dr. John Fournier of Chicago, who gave a memorial lecture to Ben Weider that outlined his significant contributions to our understanding of the truth about how Napoleon died. It was a moving moment, followed that afternoon by a tour of the Weider Collection. Huguette Weider shared many stories of how she and Ben had acquired this piece or that; stories really did make the collection come alive.

 

John Fournier memorialized Ben Weider

 

The tour over, the INS and Orex Explorations (Mark Billings, president) hosted a cocktail reception in honor of Ben Weider at the museum. Fine wine and hors d’oeuvres combined for a wonderful evening.

 

Thursday’s single session first focused on the impact of Napoleon in North America. Canadian John Donaldson told the fascinating connection between Napoleon and the explorer Sir Alexander Mackenzie; David Markham’s talk American Empire told the story of the Louisiana Purchase; and FSU student Tara Luke looked at the opinion of Napoleon promoted by New England preachers of the time.

 

The session then turned to an area seldom–if ever–given much consideration at a history conference. American Nathan Jensen looked at the creation of graphic representations to reflect the reality of military campaigns using various mapping technologies. Then Canadian Edna Mueller showed amazing ways to use Google Earth to put yourself in exactly the spot of a commander and see exactly what he could see. Both presentations made it clear that historical research was moving into new and exciting areas.

 

After an afternoon devoted to sightseeing, shopping or resting, the Congress reconvened at Trinity Estiatorio Restaurant for a cocktail reception and farewell gala dinner hosted by the INS. This excellent Greek restaurant gave a fitting international flavor to this international congress. President Markham awarded a well-deserved Eagle to Rowayda Guirguis.

 

Few people have had more impact on literature and culture than Napoleon, and Friday’s session was devoted to that relationship. Two of the INS’ top scholars in that area, Americans Joan Blythe and John Clubbe wove interesting tales of Napoleon and Cromwell in Chateaubriand and Húgo, and of Napoleon and Beethoven, respectively. Finally, Ivane Menteshashvili of Georgia, who opened the Congress as chair of the first session, closed the congress by giving well-researched paper on Napoleon and Byron.

 

By all accounts, this Congress was a great success. But these things do not just happen! We would like to thank His Excellency Ambassador Delattre, the city of Montreal, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Weider family, Senator Serge Joyal, and Mark Billings for all that they did to make the Congress the success that it was. And, of course, very special thanks go to two women who were essential to everything: the assistant to the President, Rowayda Guirguis, and the wife of the President, Barbara Markham.

 

P R O G R A M

INTERNATIONAL NAPOLEONIC SOCIETY

Seventh International Napoleonic Congress

Napoleon, Europe and the World

We encourage all people interested in this era to attend this Congress, whether or not they wish to give a paper.


 

8 – 12 June 2009
Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal
Montréal, Québec, Canada

PROGRAM

 

Monday 8 June

 

08:30 Registration

09:00 Opening Ceremony
Mr. J. David Markham, President, International Napoleonic Society
Madame Danielle Champagne, Directrice des Communications au Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal
Monsieur Marcel Parent, Président du Conseil de Montréal
The Honorable Senator Serge Joyal
Madame Huguette Weider
Monsieur Mark Billings, Souvenir Napoléon

 

Session I Ivane Menteshashvili, Republic of Georgia, Chair

09:45 Benoît Roger, France, Discovering Poland: War as Travel during the Polish Campaign, 1806-1807 *

10:15 John Stanley, Canada, The Code Napoléon and Poland *

10:45 David Stefancic, USA, The Austro-Polish War of 1809 *

11:15 Discussion

11:30 Lunch in Montreal

 

Session II John Stanley, Canada, Chair

13:00 Jean Defranceschi, France, Que valent les papiers de la famille Bonaparte avant son élévation? *

13:30 Chris Franke, Canada, Researching the Napoleonic Officer: Louis Anselme Briquet, 7e hussards

14:00 Sean Richarz, USA, Composing a Napoleonic Musical *

14:30 Peter Friedman, USA, Marie Walewska – the Polish Esther *

15:15 Discussion

 

 

Tuesday 9 June

Session III Marian Hochel, Czech Republic, Chair

09:00 Mark Billings, Canada, Napoleon: A Dealer of Hope *

09:30 Jack Sigler, USA, Wellington ’s Salamanca Campaign: A French Officer’s Critique  “pour encourager des autres” (And a mystery solved) *

10:00 Thomas Zacharis, Greece, Caesar Berthier, First Imperial Governor of the Ionian Islands * (The paper is read by Mike DeFeudis)

10:30 Break

10:45 Pascal Cyr, Canada, Waterloo: Origines et Enjeux *

11:15 Susan Conner, USA, La Vraie Madame Sans-Gêne: Women in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Armies *

11:45 Discussion

12:00 Lunch in Montreal

 

Session IV Andrey Ivanov, Russia, Chair

13:30 Rowayda Guirguis, Canada, L'Egypte après Bonaparte: Bonnes ou Mauvaises conséquences? *

14:00 Alex Grab, USA, The Italian Peninsula: Its New Face under Napoleon *

14:30 Break

14:45 Nicholas Stark, USA, The Tricoloured Shamrock: Franco-Éire Politics *

15:15 Comte François de Candé-Montholon, France, Napoléon et Montholon à Sainte Hélène

16:15 Mike DeFeudis, USA, The Grande Armée is Rallied: French Defensive Operations in Poland and Prussia, Winter 1813 *

16:45 Discussion

 

Wednesday 10 June

Session V Mark Billings, Canada, Chair

09:00 Ike Hay, USA, The Politics of Style: The Empire and Beyond *

09:30 Marian Hochel, Czech Republic, D. V. Denon et Le Style Empire 1802–1815: La représentationpar l’intermédiaire de l’art, la propagande politique ou le culte de la personnalité de Napoléon Bonaparte? *

10:00 Comte Alexandre de Bothuri Bàthory, USA, The "Purple Imperial" Service of Archchancellor Cambacérès, Masterpiece of the Imperial Factory of Sèvres (1805-1807), Token of Political Propaganda or Gift to Legitimate Napoleon's Claim of Royal Lineage? *

10:30 Break

10:45 Andrey Ivanov, Russia, Napoleon and Canova

11:15 Maureen MacLeod, USA, Aristocratic Women and the Practice of Religion in Napoleonic France *

11:45 William Nester, USA, Napoleon and the Art of Diplomacy: The Matrix of Character and Circumstances *

12:15 Discussion

12:30 Lunch in Montreal

14:00 Tour of the Ben Weider Collection

 

Thursday 11 June

Session VI Benoît Roger, France, Chair

09:00 John Donaldson, Canada, The Influence of Canadian Explorer, Sir Alexander Mackenzie, on Napoleon’s Secret Strategy to Retake New France (Quebec) *

09:30 J. David Markham, USA, American Empire: Jefferson, Napoleon and the Louisiana Purchase *

10:00 Tarah Luke, USA, Politics in the American Pulpit: American Opinion of Napoleon *

10:30 Break

10:45 Nathan Jensen, USA, The Use of Technology in Napoleonic Research *

11:15 Edna Mueller, Canada, A View from the Saddle: Using Google Earth to Interpret Napoleonic Sites *

11:45 Discussion

12:00 Lunch in Montreal

12:30 Lunch in Montreal

Please spend the afternoon exploring the beautiful city of Montreal

 

 

Friday 12 June

Session VII Alex Grab, USA, Chair

09:00 Joan Blythe, USA, Ces Colosses de Gloire: Napoleon and Cromwell in Chateaubriand and Victor Hugo *

09:30 John Clubbe, USA, Beethoven contra Napoleon: The Akademie of December 22, 1808 *

10:15 Ivane Menteshashvili, Republic of Georgia, Napoleon in Lord Byron’s Poetry *

10:45 Discussion and Close of Congress

 

Call For Papers

International Napoleonic Society

Seventh International Napoleonic Congress

Napoleon, Europe and the World

Montreal, Quebec, Canada June 8–12, 2009

The International Napoleonic Society will hold its seventh International Napoleonic Congress in the beautiful and historic city of Montréal, Canada. Our host will be the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, which has just dedicated a permanent exhibition of INS founder Ben Weider's outstanding Napoleonic collection. There will be no registration fee for this Congress.

We especially encourage papers that concentrate on Napoleon's activities in the years around 1809 that had a major impact on Europe and the Americas. Since this is our first Congress in North America, we hope to see numerous papers on Napoleon's influence on developments in Latin and North America. We also encourage papers that look at Napoleon's relationship with the arts, including his support of them and the creation of his image by artists. Other papers and themes will be given full consideration and we encourage you to submit any proposal. Special attention will be given to new research on any Napoleonic topic.

Papers should be no more than 15 pages double-spaced, and presentations are limited to 20-30 minutes. Please complete the registration form and also include a one-page summary of your paper and a résumé. We encourage you to request an electronic version of the form so that you can submit it via email. When completed, please submit a printed version of your paper as well as an electronic version via email attachment or CD, using Microsoft WORD or another major word processing program. You may give us the printed version of your paper at the Congress. If requested, you will be given an opportunity to make revisions to your paper. Selected papers will be published in a journal and/or on our website.

The official languages of the conference will be English and French. Hotel information will be forthcoming via email and on our website.

We urge you to check for further information and forms on our official website, www.napoleonicsociety.com . If you have not already done so, please send us your email address, as that is our preferred method of communication.