Deborah Madsen

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Prof. Deborah Madsen


Research interests

Deborah Madsen completed her undergraduate and Master's degrees in English at the University of Adelaide in South Australia; she was awarded a prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship to undertake doctoral studies at the University of Sussex in England. Before becoming Professor of American Literature and Culture at Geneva, she was Reader in English and Director of American Studies at the University of Leicester, then Professor of English at London South Bank University. She has held visiting appointments at the Universities of Adelaide, Bern, Fribourg, and Cambridge.

Her research focuses on issues of settler-colonialism, Indigeneity, and nationalism, exemplified by her work on American Exceptionalism and the white supremacist ideology of Manifest Destiny. She is an Associate Editor of the journal Contemporary Women’s Writing (Oxford University Press), immediate past President of the Swiss Association for North American Studies (SANAS), and has served on the Editorial Board of the Encyclopedia of American Studies (published by Johns Hopkins University Press for the American Studies Association), as well as the Editorial Advisory Committee of PMLA.

Her current research project, “Digital Narratology: Decolonizing Strategies in Indigenous Virtual Media,” engages close textual analyses of Native North American interactive digital media in the context of critical Indigenous studies.


Proposals from prospective PhD students are invited in the following areas:

  • comparative Indigenous and settler-colonial studies
  • eco-feminism
  • narratological approaches to digital media.

Personal Information




Research labels:

Art – culture
Colonialism – postcolonialism – decolonialism
Race – racialization – racism
Nationalism – homonationalism – femonationalism
Ecology – environment – sustainability