After growing up in Troy, Alabama, Anne Mitchell Whisnant received her B.A. in history from Birmingham-Southern College, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While at UNC, she specialized in the history of the American South.
From 1997-99 , she taught U.S. and North Carolina history at UNC before moving into a career in academic administration. From 2002 to 2006 she worked at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University, where she developed and promoted an assortment of humanities programs. From 2006-16, she was Director of Research, Communications, and Programs and later Deputy Secretary of the Faculty for the Office of Faculty Governance at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During 2016-17, she was Whichard Visiting Distinguished Professor of History at East Carolina University.
Anne began doing contract historical work in the 1990s, while researching and writing Super-Scenic Motorway: A Blue Ridge Parkway History, which appeared in the fall of 2006 from the University of North Carolina Press. Anne’s study of the history of the Blue Ridge Parkway began in 1991, spurred by a love of the mountains nurtured in seven summers spent during her youth at Lake Junaluska United Methodist Assembly in western North Carolina. Super-Scenic Motorway is the first history of the Parkway ever to be fully grounded both in the relevant scholarly literature and in thorough research in the extensive archival record of the road’s development.
Anne has worked as a consultant to the Blue Ridge Parkway and served on the Board of Trustees for both the nonprofit Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation and for Blue Ridge Parkway 75, Inc., an organization planning celebration of the Parkway’s 75th anniversity in 2010.
She is active in the Organization of American Historians (where she serves on the National Park Service liaison committee), the American Historical Association, the National Council on Public History, and the Appalachian Studies Association. She has published several articles and book reviews and has delivered numerous public presentations on Parkway history, Appalachian regional history, and the professional development of historians to varied audiences that included members of the general public, scholars, and graduate and professional students.