Rob Weir

Rob Weir is a native of Pennsylvania who has lived in New England for the past 26 years. He holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he currently teaches. Weir has published six books and numerous articles on social and cultural history, and has been cited for excellence in teaching on numerous occasions during his 20 years in the college classroom. Weir also teaches at Smith College and is a freelance journalist. For over 20 years he was been the principal Celtic music writer for SingOut! Magazine, the nation's oldest folk music publication.

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Most Recent Articles

April 21, 2010
Rob Weir considers the administrative practices that make many professors reject the idea of a position outside the faculty ranks.
March 26, 2010
Banning the popular Web tool will be ineffective, writes Rob Weir, but you can teach your students how to evaluate information.
March 3, 2010
Rob Weir shares techniques for teaching writing to students who don't know how to convey ideas.
February 17, 2010
Spring may seem distant in a year in which 49 states have snow on the ground, but those coming up for their step-one tenure reviews are probably already starting to sweat, and mid-year hires are just now settling into a (semi-) comfortable groove. It’s not too early to start contemplating your campus karma. Here are a few ways to do some impression management.
January 27, 2010
A new semester means a new round of student requests. Rob Weir knows what to say to students who "need an A."
January 4, 2010
You should pay attention to what your students say, writes Rob Weir. But you shouldn't take the official reports too seriously.
December 7, 2009
Rob Weir offers tips on designing final exams.
November 13, 2009
Over the years I’ve often taught Edward Bellamy’s classic 19th century utopian novel Looking Backward. It’s a blistering critique of Gilded Age America and a creative imagining of a future in which work, social class, gender relations, and the political economy have been radically reconfigured. The novel is provocative and rich in ideas, and its premises spark great debate. What it’s not is a page-turner. Most of the book is an extended lecture interspersed with occasional questions and a contrived (and mawkish) romance.
October 23, 2009
As many of you recall, one of the first professional tasks you undertook was to write a scholarly review of a book, article, exhibition, symposium, performance, research breakthrough, or new discovery. What we academics now do as a matter of course is use a skill we ought to teach our undergraduate and graduate students: critical engagement with secondary sources. In many respects, teaching students to think critically about work that has already been done is one of the more pragmatic things we can impart.
October 12, 2009
Rob Weir offers suggestions on how not to flame out like fall leaves as your stress and work levels go up -- and how to reach your students when they experience mid-semester overload.

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