Profile profile for BemisB

Bethanee Bemis

Museum Specialist

B.A. in Cultural Anthropology
B.A. in History
M.A. in Historical Studies 

Bethanee Bemis is a museum specialist with the Division of Political and Military History, where she works to ensure the physical and intellectual care of the division's collections. Her role combines collections management, exhibition development and installation, academic research and writing, and sharing objects and their stories with the public. Her current research area regards Disney theme parks as locations for the collective memory of the national narrative.

Author: Disney Theme Parks and America's National Narratives: Mirror, Mirror for Us All (Routledge, 2022)

Research Specialties: 

Public history, collections-based material culture research, public memory, political history, Disney and public history, White House history


Curator, "Mirror, Mirror: Reflections of America in Disney Parks," opening April 2023

Collections Manager, "Winning with Words," July 2020

Museum specialist, “The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden”, “First Ladies at the Smithsonian”, “Abraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life”, “A First Lady’s Debut” and “American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith”


Professional Affiliations: 

National Council on Public History (NCPH)


The Public Historian “Mirror, Mirror For Us All: Disney Theme Parks and the Collective Memory of the American National Narrative,” The Public Historian, forthcoming spring 2020.
Mediating the Mouse: Disney and the Fan Experience “’Our Cartoon City Upon a Hill’: the Disney Theme Parks, the Public, the National Narrative and American Identity” in Priscilla Hobbs, ed. Mediating the Mouse: Disney and the Fan Experience, Intellect Books, forthcoming.
White House History “What Flavor is the Cake?: White House Weddings and the Public’s Curiosity,” White House History, No. 54, Summer 2019, pp. 63-77.
Smithsonian Magazine “The Practically Perfect Political Timing of Mary Poppins,” Smithsonian Magazine, Smithsonian Institution, December 19, 2018.
Smithsonian Magazine “Epcot Just Got a New Smithsonian Museum Exhibition,” Smithsonian Magazine, Smithsonian Institution, August 22, 2018.
Smithsonian Magazine "The Somber History of the Presidential Funeral Train," Smithsonian Magazine, Smithsonian Institution, December 5, 2018,
Smithsonian Magazine  “How Disney Came to Define What Constitutes the American Experience,“ Smithsonian Magazine, Smithsonian Institution, January 3, 2017
What It Means to Be An American “The Laptops that Powered the American Revolution,” What it Means to Be an American, Zocalo Public Square, February 23, 2016,