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Margaret McFadden, assistant professor of American studies at Colby College, will receive the Senior Class Charles Bassett Teaching Award and will deliver the college’s final Spotlight Event lecture of the year on Thursday, May 3. McFadden’s talk, “It’s Hard to Be Good,” will take place at 7 p.m. in the Page Commons Room of Cotter Union at Colby in Waterville, Maine. McFadden will discuss the moral and ethical choices people face as they build their lives and how these choices are shaped by culture.

The award, determined by a vote of the senior class, recognizes McFadden as one of the most popular professors on a faculty that numbers more than 200. She teaches introductory American studies courses and courses on American popular culture.

McFadden is author of the forthcoming book Anything Goes: Gender and Politics in 1930s Popular Comedy. Articles she has written include “Let’s Face the Music and Dance: Reading Astaire-Rogers Dance Musicals,” “Redeeming Mr. Parasite: The Cultural Work of the Corrupt Tycoon in 1930s Popular Comedy” and “America’s Boy Friend Who Can’t Get a Date: Gender, Race, and the Cultural Work of the Jack Benny Program, 1933-1946.”

McFadden earned her bachelor’s degree at Wells College, a master’s at Duke University and a master’s and a Ph.D. at Yale University. She joined the Colby faculty in 1996 and her areas of research include popular culture in the 1930s, women in popular culture and radio comedy.