Anne Mitchell Whisnant
Adjunct Associate Professor in the Social Science Research Institute

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, 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 Award from the National Council on Public History.

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