Ashley Tooke is currently an MA student in American Studies at George Washington University with a concentration in Material Culture and Museum Studies. She is most interested in the historical and cultural significance of food and music in the American South. She has her BA in English Literature from University of North Texas, and was most recently and bartender and bookseller.
What are you studying right now?
I am currently writing a paper on the exhibit “Power of Place” in the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Where/what did you study as an undergraduate?
English Literature at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. Go Mean Green!
Why American Studies and why GW?
Most of my past study has focused on American Literature, and I always longed for a more interdisciplinary approach. Also, the material culture concentration!
What piece of advice would you give, or what piece of advice has been most influential to you, about living around GW and in DC?
The metro isn’t as great as I expected, and it’s a pretty spread out city. If you can, live close to campus and build a community in and around Foggy Bottom.
Is there one book or piece of media that inspired you to pursue the field of American Studies? If so, which one and why?
It’s not a book or piece of media, but my Jazz History class that I took for an elective in undergrad was extremely eye opening to the possibilities of interdisciplinary cultural study outside of literature.
If you were tasked with introducing yourself to a person only by recommending to them one film, which would you choose and why?
Young Frankenstein. It’s one of my mom’s all time favorites so I grew up watching it, and I don’t think it will ever get old.
Imagine you're up to bat as a Major League Baseball player. You need a walk-up song. Which would you choose?
“Surely Shorty” by Peven Everett