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An acclaimed scholar of American studies with a notable commitment to an inclusive academic environment is now provost and dean of faculty at Colby College. Margaret T. McFadden served as associate provost last year.

Margaret McFadden

“Margaret is an extraordinary intellectual and has been an influential teacher to a generation of Colby students,” said President David A. Greene. “The college will benefit from the energy and engaged spirit she brings to this role.”

McFadden joined the Colby faculty in 1996 and was previously the Christian A. Johnson Associate Professor of Integrated Liberal Learning. She has chaired and served on major College committees, and she led the establishment of new initiatives, including the Center for the Arts and Humanities, the program in environmental humanities, and the Cinema Studies Program.

As associate provost, a role she held since March 2016, McFadden supervised curriculum review and policy development.

A scholar of American popular culture with interests in gender and sexuality, media, and comedy, McFadden won teaching prizes at Colby and at Yale, where she earned her Ph.D. after her undergraduate work at Wells College. In 2001 she was awarded Colby’s highest faculty prize, the Charles Bassett Teaching Award, given annually to a professor chosen by a vote of the senior class.

“This place has an incredible culture of teaching,” McFadden said. “It’s extraordinary in my experience. We get to work with amazing students, and that faculty-student relationship is so special. It’s gratifying to be able to work supporting faculty at Colby.”

Her most recent book, The L Word, was published in 2014. The work, a part of the Wayne State University TV Milestones series, explores the Showtime TV series of the same name, which debuted in 2004.

The book discusses representation and misrepresentation of lesbians in popular media and the show’s inherent critique of Hollywood. In 2015 McFadden taught a Colby January term course on the TV show and its place in American popular culture.