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Joan Saverino

About You

First Name
Last Name
Job Title
Director of Education and Outreach
Programs and Services
The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
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Your Background

Your Biography

Joan Saverino has worked for 30 years in education, museums, and as a private consultant. She is currently the Director of Education and Outreach at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She is also the project director of PhilaPlace (, a collaborative neighborhood history and culture project, that has received over $500,000 in federal, state, and private funding. Saverino has a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Folklore and Folklife and a masters in anthropology with a specialization in museology from The George Washington University. Saverino’s research specialties include immigration and ethnicity, Italian and Italian American culture, gender and culture, and material culture and dress. She has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of Pennsylvania. Her own research focuses on Italian American history and culture and she has conducted research in Calabria, Italy, and the United States. She is currently working on a project that uses the material landscape of Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill neighborhood to explore the shifting boundaries of inter and intra ethnic social relations, artistic expression, and issues of power and class. She is also working on a comparative transnational project that uses the lens of needlework and dress to investigate embodied social relations of Calabrian and immigrant women to West Virginia during the early decades of the twentieth century. Her work on Italian Americans has appeared in both popular and academic publications, including the edited books Global Philadelphia, Sunday Dinners and Basement Kitchens: Rethinking Italian-American Folk Cultures, and Embroidered Lines and Cut Threads: Women’s Domestic Needlework from the Italian Diaspora (all 2010, forthcoming).

Best of the Web History

2010 Nomination


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