Professor of American Literature and Culture


University of Geneva



Deborah Madsen is Professor of American Studies and Director of the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Geneva. Her work focuses on issues of settler-nationalism, indigeneity, and migration, exemplified by her work on American Exceptionalism and the white supremacist ideology of Manifest Destiny. Her most recent publications include the edited collections, Native Authenticity: Transatlantic Approaches to Native American Literature (SUNY Press 2010) and Louise Erdrich (Continuum, 2012). She is immediate past  President of the Swiss Association for North American Studies (SANAS), and currently serves on the Editorial Board of the Encyclopedia of American Studies (published by Johns Hopkins University Press for the American Studies Association), and on the Editorial Advisory Committee of PMLA (Publications of the Modern Language Association of America). She has held visiting appointments at the Universities of Cape Town, Adelaide, and Cambridge, and is an honorary life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge.


She has published extensively on Chinese immigration, particularly in relation to Australia, Canada, and the United States, including the book Diasporic Histories: Archives of Chinese Transnationalism (co-ed. Hong Kong University Press 2009).

She has a pedagogical interest in e-learning and has published widely on developments in this field.


Proposals from prospective PhD students are invited in the following areas: literature and US nationalism; cultural approaches to migration and transnationalism; Native American and comparative indigenous studies; gender theory and contemporary cultural body imagery.



Mémoire (MA Thesis) and Graduate Supervision



The Geneva Doctoral Skills Workshop in Modern and Contemporary English Literature





Details of current courses are available at




2011-2012 Course Information

2010-2011 Course Information

2009-2010 Course Information

2008-2009 Course Information

2007-2008 Course Information

2006-2007Course Information

2005-2006Course Information

2004-2005 Course Information

2003-2004 Course Information

2002-2003 Course Information





Full-texts of recent unpublished essays and lectures

Sample chapters from published books