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Anne M. Whisnant, Adjunct Associate Professor of Social Science Research Institute and History and Director, Graduate Liberal Studies of Graduate School

Anne M. Whisnant

As the director of Graduate Liberal Studies at Duke, Anne Mitchell Whisnant oversees all aspects of the program, participating in both administration and academics. She joined GLS as director on August 15, 2019. From 2017-19, she worked full time as a professional historical consultant in her firm Primary Source History Services, conducting several historical research projects for the National Park Service. For the 2016-17 year she was Whichard Visiting Distinguished Professor of History at East Carolina University, and before that, for ten years (2006-16), she was Deputy Secretary of the Faculty and Director of Research, Communications, and Programs for UNC-Chapel Hill’s Office of Faculty Governance. Her first Duke tenure was 2002-06, when she coordinated humanities programs at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute. 

Dr. Whisnant is a historian whose teaching, research, speaking, consulting, and writing focus on public history, campus histories, digital and geospatial history, and the history of the U.S. National Parks. She has taught public history at UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Greensboro, East Carolina University, and George Mason University. In 2006 she published Super-Scenic Motorway: A Blue Ridge Parkway History, the first fully grounded history of the parkway's development, with the University of North Carolina Press. She subsequently 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.  More of her Blue Ridge Parkway work may be seen here. As a consultant, Dr. Whisnant has been the co-principal historian on several other National Park Service projects. 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 (Group) Award from the National Council on Public History (NCPH).

Dr. Whisnant's most recent project, co-written with consulting partner and husband David E. Whisnant, is Black Lives and Whitened Stories: From the Lowcountry to the Mountains. This Historic Resource Study for the National Park Service's Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site (Flat Rock, NC) has also been recognized with the NCPH's Excellence in Consulting (Group) Award for 2022.

Contact Info:   
Office Location:  2114 Campus Drive, Box 90095, Durham, NC 27708-0095
Office Phone:  (919) 684-5946
Email Address: send me a message
Web Pages:  https://www.prisource.com/

Teaching (Summer2 2022):

  • GS 990.20, DUKE GRADUATE ACADEMY Synopsis
    Online ON, MTuWTh 03:00 PM-05:00 PM

Ph.D.University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill1997

Appalachian Region • Blue Ridge Parkway (N.C. and Va.) • Cape Lookout National Seashore (N.C.) • Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site (Flat Rock, Henderson County, N.C.) • Historic sites • National parks and reserves • North Carolina--History • Public history

Recent Publications

  1. Whisnant, AM; Miller, MR, Pulling from outside, pushing from inside: Imperiled Promise and change in the National Park Service, The Public Historian, vol. 38 no. 4 (November, 2016), pp. 264-292 [doi]  [abs]
  2. Whisnant, AM; Miller, MR; Nash, GB; Thelen, DP; Historians, OOA; Service, USNP, Imperiled Promise The State of History in the National Park Service (2011), pp. 143 pages
  3. Whisnant, AM; Whisnant, DE, "Blue Ridge Parkway, America's Favorite Journey." Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center, Asheville, N.C. http://www.nps.gov/blri/. "Within a Day's Drive of Millions." Harry F. Byrd Visitor Center, Shenandoah National Park, Big Meadows, Va. http://www.nps.gov/shen/, The Journal of American History, vol. 96 no. 3 (December, 2009), pp. 797-803, Oxford University Press (OUP) [doi]
  4. Whisnant, AM, Super-scenic Motorway A Blue Ridge Parkway History (2006), pp. 434 pages, Univ of North Carolina Press, ISBN 0807830372  [abs]
  5. Whisnant, AM, Public and private tourism development in 1930s Appalachia: The Blue Ridge Parkway meets little Switzerland, in Southern Journeys: Tourism, History, and Culture in the Modern South (December, 2003), pp. 88-113, ISBN 9780817350093

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