Mike Bangerter entered the American Studies program at George Washington University in the fall of 2018. He received his bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts from Southern Virginia University. His research interests are centered in American Literature of the 1920's and 1960's.
Meet a GA: Mike Bangerter
What are you studying/working on right now?
My primary interest circulates around literature, specifically literature in the 1920's and the 1960's.
Where/what did you study as an undergraduate?
Liberal Arts, Southern Virginia University
Why American Studies and why GW?
I love the interdisciplinary and cultural approach of American Studies.
If you were stuck on an island and could only have one book to read, which would you choose?
Collective short stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald.
What American city would you spend the rest of your life in and why?
Salt Lake City - it is the only place I know of where one can rock climb, wakeboard, and snowboard outside all in the same day.
What advice would you give to GW undergraduates in American Studies?
Take a broad range of classes. The interdisciplinary nature of American Studies allows for a much broader education than many programs, make sure you take advantage of that.
Where did you go for undergrad and what did you study?
I received my B.A. in Political Science and Women's & Gender Studies from CUNY Brooklyn College.
What are you studying now?
My research is on queer, fat people of color and their experiences on online dating applications. Currently, I am interested in fat-positivity on social media and the imaginative, political worlds it creates.
What brought you to GW to continue your studies?
I came to American Studies for a safe, fruitful space to study my identities, and people whose identities are like mine. I want to produce work that is interdisciplinary and in a department that holds space for my creative desires. The research interests of the faculty in this department make me feel safe and confident that my work will develop in beautiful ways.
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?
Buy your food and your other necessities early in the day because businesses close ridiculously early here.
Is there one book/piece of media that inspired you to pursue the field of American Studies? If so, which one and why?
Swallow the Fish: A Memoir in Performance Art by Gabrielle Civil. I am completely awe of how Civil centers her body, her identities and her desires in such creative, unpredictable ways. As a metaphor, Swallow the Fish pushes readers to take risks in every aspect of their life. And that is what I strive to do in American Studies.
If you were tasked with introducing yourself to a person only by recommending to them one film, which would you choose and why?
This is such a tough question, but I have to go with Rent.
Imagine you're up to bat as a Major League Baseball player. You need a walk-up song. Which would you choose?
"7 Rings" by Ariana Grande.