Dr. Anne Mitchell Whisnant

Historian & Director of the Graduate Liberal Studies Program at Duke University
Chapel Hill, NC

Dr. Anne Mitchell Whisnant is a professional historian and Director of the Graduate Liberal Studies Program at Duke University. With her husband David Whisnant, she also runs the public history consulting firm, Primary Source History Services, based in Chapel Hill, N.C. From 2016-17, she was Whichard Visiting Distinguished Professor of History at East Carolina University, and before that, for 10 years (2006-16), she was Deputy Secretary of the Faculty in UNC-Chapel Hill’s Office of Faculty Governance. She continues to hold appointment as Adjunct Associate Professor of History at UNC-Chapel Hill, the department from which she received her Ph.D.

In 2006, UNC Press published her book, Super-Scenic Motorway: A Blue Ridge Parkway History. At UNC-Chapel Hill, she served as scholarly adviser for Driving Through Time: The Digital Blue Ridge Parkway, an online history collection developed collaboratively with the Park Service and the UNC Libraries. Her teaching in public history has always incorporated significant digital components, and her students have developed a number of web exhibits related to Blue Ridge Parkway and university history

In 2010, she and husband David published a Parkway book for children, titled When the Parkway Came. As a consultant, Dr. Whisnant has been the co-principal historian on National Park Service projects at DeSoto National Memorial, Cape Lookout National Seashore, and the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site. From 2008-12, she chaired a task force commissioned by the Organization of American Historians and the National Park Service to study historical practice within the Park Service. The resulting report, Imperiled Promise: The State of History in the National Park Service, won the 2013 Excellence in Consulting Award from the National Council on Public History and is helping set a vision for future National Park Service historical work.