Before joining the Museum Studies faculty in 2009, Professor Schiavo worked in museums in the DC area, including the City Museum, Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington, and the National Building Museum, where she curated exhibitions on cultural and design history including Designing Tomorrow: America’s World’s Fairs of the 1930s. Professor Schiavo has partnered with the National Park Service on various student research projects and on a national symposium, Co-Creating Narratives in Public Spaces (2014). Her most recent publication is a chapter on the Museum of Jewish Ceremonial Objects (the precursor to the Jewish Museum, NYC) in Radical Roots: Public History and the Roots of Social Justice Activism. She is also currently editing a collection in press entitled U.S. Museum History and the Politics of Interpretation: Never Neutral (Routledge, forthcoming, 2023), which includes her chapter on nineteenth-century history collections. Schiavo has published in the areas of visual culture, museums and diversity, and museums and identity, as well as contributing book and exhibition reviews to national publications. Her academic and professional interests currently center around the question of the role of the museum in the work of social justice and social change and the range of exhibitionary platforms for that work. She incorporates this interest in her teaching, having developed a class in Fall 2020 entitled Museums and Social Justice. She co-organized a symposium with the National Park Service (2014), organized a round table session at the National Council of Public History on a similar topic (2015), and published an article on the meanings of diversity at the National Park Service in the journal Public Historian (2016).
At the university, she is committed to diversifying the Museum Studies program, widening the scope of students in terms of class, race, and ethnicity and hence altering the makeup of the student population in the pipeline from graduate education in museum studies and the profession as a whole. She has presented at the American Alliance of Museums and the College Art Association on this topic and is currently working under the auspices of the National Council of Public History on the development of a white paper on equitable remote internships.