Zoe Silverman

I am interested in object-based teaching and learning, sensory studies, material culture, museum historiography, embodied cognition, and decolonizing methodologies. Through my research and museum education practice, I seek to understand the porous boundaries between people and things.

Contact: zss (at) berkeley (dot) edu

Personal Background

Over the past 10 years, I have worked as an education specialist and program coordinator at a variety of arts and cultural institutions, including the Hammer Museum at UCLA, the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, the MassArt Art Museum, and the Harvard Art Museums. I received a B.A. in History from UC Berkeley with a minor in Latin, an A.M. in History from Harvard University, an M.A. in Learning and Visitor Studies in Museums and Galleries from the University of Leicester’s School of Museum Studies, and a Certificate in Social Emotional Arts from UCLArts & Healing.

In prior lives, I was a medieval historian and ninth-grade teacher. Ask me about the odor of sanctity, pilgrim souvenirs, and doing (new) things with (old) stuff.


Publications and Presentations

Silverman, Z., Iłowiecka-Tańska, I., Potęga vel Żabik, K. and Abrahamson, D. (Under contract.) Research-practice partnerships in practice: Reflections on a pilot collaborative research webinar. In Porter, J. and Cunningham, M. K. (Eds.), Museum education for today’s audiences: Meeting expectations with new models. Rowman & Littlefield.

Silverman, Z. (2020). Video, tango, disco: A prolegomenon to materiality in the learning sciences. Paper accepted for presentation at the annual Education Research Day Conference, Berkeley, CA: UC Berkeley.

Silverman, Z., Doherty, J., Hogarth, B., Lindberg, L., Torres-Gypson, A. (2019). Moving every body: Embodied engagement in museums and gardens. Panel organizer and moderator at the American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting (AAM 2019), New Orleans, LA.

Graff-Weisner, M., Ippoliti, L., Molina, R., Montañez, C., Nuno, E., and Silverman, Z. (2017). HEAL: What makes a ‘healthy’ community? Panel facilitator at LA Convergence 2017, Los Angeles, CA: Arts for LA.

Belzer, M. and Silverman, Z. (2017). Day of mindfulness: Mindfulness and The Walking Man. Co-presenter for the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center at the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden, Los Angeles, CA: UCLA.

Silverman, Z., Callan, M. Corriveau, B., and Eshelman, D. (2017). Minds and hearts: Cultivating well-being through mindfulness. Panel organizer and moderator at the American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting (AAM 2017), St. Louis, MO.

Publications as a medieval historian

Dorin, R. and Silverman, Z. (2013). Reality matters: Teaching with primary resources. Invited speaker for Harvard Library Strategic Conversations, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University.

Silverman, Z. (2013). Non est in toto sanctior orbe locus: Characterizing the Sancta sanctorum by its relics. Paper presented at the Medieval History Workshop, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University.

Silverman, Z. (2012). Mapping the holy. Paper presented at the Medieval History Workshop, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University..

Silverman, Z. (2011). Badges, brooches, and bijoux: Transformations in fourteenth-century material culture. Paper presented at the History+ Conference, Los Angeles, CA: UCLA.