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.


Select Publications and Presentations

Lindberg, L., Marin, A., and Silverman, Z. (Invited to resubmit) Improvisational dance as enactive cognition: What do novice dancers teach us about embodied cognition in dance? Journal of Dance Education.

Johnson, J. and Silverman, Z. (Invited to resubmit). Grasping at relevancy: Emerging museum scholars reflect on value, communication, and the future of museums in a post-COVID world. Fwd: Museums Journal.

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. (2021). Blind contour drawing at a distance. Celebrate the Wins! Ignite talk at the National Art Education Association’s Museum Education Division Virtual Preconference.

Silverman, Z. (2020). Hands on history: Messaging “touch” in California’s history museums. Poster presentation at the Learning Sciences Graduate Student Conference, Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin.

[abstract] [poster]

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.

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.