James Deutsch

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Phone: 202 633-6465
James Deutsch is a curator and editor at the Smithsonian Institution's Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, where he has helped plan and develop public programs on California, China, Hungary, Baltic nations, Ukraine, Peace Corps, Apollo Theater, Circus Arts, Native Americans, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Mekong River, U.S. Forest Service, World War II, Silk Road, and White House workers. In addition, he serves as an adjunct professor teaching courses on American film history and folklore in the American Studies Department at George Washington University. Deutsch has also taught American Studies classes at universities in Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Norway, Poland, and Turkey. Overall, he has held more than sixty different jobs in twenty different states and countries, including newspaper reporter, librarian, park ranger/forest ranger, census enumerator, and monorail operator at Walt Disney World. He has earned academic degrees from Williams College (B.A.), University of Minnesota (M.A.), Emory University (M.Ln.), and George Washington University (Ph.D.), and has published numerous articles and encyclopedia entries on a wide range of topics relating to film and folklore.Deutsch has conducted oral history interviews on a wide variety of topics from persons experiencing homelessness to memories of the Armenian Genocide. He has been particularly active in documenting occupational cultures from museum security officers to executive search consultants, and received an Archie Green Fellowship to interview the latter in 2022-2023.


Ph.D. in American Civilization, George Washington University, 1991. Dissertation topic: Coming Home from The Good War: World War II Veterans as Depicted in American Film and Fiction.Master of Librarianship, Emory University, 1979.M.A. in American Studies, University of Minnesota, 1976.B.A. in American Civilization, Williams College, 1970.


Regions Available for Work

    Other Regions: United States|| Canada|| Mexico|| Western Europe|| Northern Europe|| Eastern Europe|| Southern Europe

    Purpose of Contact

    • I am available to answer questions, or provide mentorship to other oral historians
    • I am available for hire - as an oral historian, consultant, presenter, educator, or related services
    • I am available to collaborate - on research, community projects, artistic endeavors, or other joint undertakings with peers
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