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

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.
September 18, 2009
Sometimes, everything goes wrong in a class discussion. Rob Weir has strategies to turn things around.
September 9, 2009
Rob Weir offers tips for leading discussion-based courses.
August 12, 2009
Rob Weir on what not to do if you want to see your paper published.
July 24, 2009
It's time to take a different approach to the debate over what happened to Henry Louis Gates Jr., writes Rob Weir.
July 17, 2009
When considering the latest tools for teaching, avoid the trendy and focus on what really matters, writes Rob Weir.
June 12, 2009
Rob Weir offers advice on how to get ready this summer before you get ready for a new fall position.
May 27, 2009
Rob Weir considers the ins and outs of teaching in the summer.

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