Samantha Silver

Samantha Silver
Samantha Silver entered the PhD program in 2018 to continue her research in gender and sexuality studies and the history of race and performance. She engages feminist theory, queer theory, performance studies, history of sexuality, cultural studies, film and media history, and American popular music. Her interests include rock criticism, stand-up comedy, theater, queer history and early radio and sound recording. She also holds a B.A. in American Studies from University of California, Berkeley. 

Student Spotlight

What are you studying/working on right now?

I've been doing research at the Library of Congress Recorded Sound Research Center listening to a 1930s radio talent competition show. It allows me to think about mediated democracy, musical performances and sound archives.

Where/what did you study as an undergraduate?

I went to UC Berkeley and majored in American Studies. I got to work with film scholars, cultural historians, geographers, and literary scholars.

Why American Studies and why GW?

American Studies asks us to rethink canons, to notice the margins, to imagine a different future by engaging both history and the present. Studying at GW means having access to incredible archival resources at the LOC, the National Archives, and many other sites. GW's American Studies faculty are also incredible, inspiring scholars.If you were stuck on an island and could only have one book to read, which would you choose?

If you were stuck on an island and could only have one book to read, which would you choose?

I would cheat and choose a Norton Anthology of some sort. 

What American city would you spend the rest of your life in and why?

San Francisco. I miss California! 

What advice would you give to GW undergraduates in American Studies?

Go to as many office hours as you can. Read thoughtfully. Take your writing seriously and write about things you are truly interested in. Later down the road, some people won't always know what American Studies is, so you will get to emphasize what your focus was. Take that seriously now.



Jeffrey C. Kasch Foundation Research Grant. Read about Sam's research trip here