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Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences

ECU Announces 2016 David Julian and Virginia Suther Whichard
Distinguished Professor in the Humanities

Welcome Anne Whisnant

August 9, 2016

By Lacey L. Gray
Director of Marketing and Communications
Thomas Harriot College of Arts & Sciences

Anne Whisnant
East Carolina University soon will welcome Anne Whisnant to the faculty as the 2016 David Julian and Virginia Suther Whichard Distinguished Professor in the Humanities.

“I am honored to have been chosen to join the faculty at East Carolina as the Whichard Distinguished Professor,” said Whisnant, who most recently served as deputy secretary of the faculty in the Office of Faculty Governance and as adjunct associate professor of history and American studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “I look forward to getting to know ECU and Greenville and look forward to engaging with ECU students, faculty and staff in their efforts to better understand and interpret East Carolina’s history.”

Housed within the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, the professorship is made possible through a generous donation by the Whichard family in honor of David Julian and Virginia Suther Whichard of Greenville. This year, the Whichard Professorship is hosted by the Department of History.

“The History Department is excited and honored to host Anne Whisnant as the Whichard Distinguished Professor in the Humanities for the 2016-2017 academic year. Her scholarship and experience as a public historian will strengthen the department, college and university,” said Chair of the Department of History Dr. Christopher Oakley.

As Whichard Distinguished Professor, one of Whisnant’s roles is to teach a course each semester. While at ECU, she will teach North Carolina history and a course in digital public history.

“ECU has been a leader in taking proactive steps to address the complicated legacy of its past as it looks forward to its future,” said Whisnant. “In my teaching of North Carolina history and digital public history at ECU, I hope to be able to make a contribution to this important conversation and find ways to connect it to state and national efforts to employ public history approaches in fruitful ways.”


“We look forward to professor Whisnant helping us continue our ongoing discussions of race, historical memory and public commemoration,” said Oakley.

Whisnant received her Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Birmingham-Southern College in 1989, and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1991 and ’97 respectively. She completed post-doctoral coursework at North Carolina State University in 2002.


Over the course of her career, Whisnant has melded her academic administration and teaching with an active public history practice. Her research interests focus on public history, digital history and the history of the U.S. National Parks.