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faculty may 14(at table from left to right): Sace Elder, Bonnie Laughlin-Schultz, Anita Shelton, Jinhee Lee, Martin Hardeman, Charlie Foy, (standing from left to right): Michael Shirley, Bailey Young, David Smith, Brian Mann, Roger Beck, Lynne Curry, Newton Key, Malgorzata Rymsza-Pawlowska, Edmund Wehrle, Nora Pat Small, Mark Hubbard, Debra Reid, Lee Patterson, Terry Barnhart, Joy Kammerling, (not pictured): Jose Deustua

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Dr. Debra A Reid

Dr. Debra A Reid


Office: 2572 - Coleman Hall
Phone: 217-581-7272
Fax: 217-581-7233
Email: dareid@eiu.edu

Debra Reid's Vita

Office Hours:
During Summer 2013 by appointment

Frequently Taught Courses

HIS 2020: U.S. History since 1865
HIS 3600: U.S. Constitution and the Nation
HIS 4930: Public History: Meaning & Method
HIS 5090: Care and Management of Historical Artifacts
HIS 5360: Material Life in America, 1600-Present
WST 2309G: Women, Men and Culture



Ph.D. History, Texas A&M University
M.A. History, Baylor University
M.A. Cooperstown Graduate Program in History Museum Studies, State University of New York at Oneonta
B.S Historic Preservation, Southeast Missouri State University


Professional Organizations

Dr. Reid serves as treasurer of the Rural Women’s Studies Association. She speaks regularly at regional and national meetings of the Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums, the Midwest Open Air Museums Coordinating Council, and is the first vice president and executive committee member of the International Association of Agricultural Museums.

Speakers Bureau

For more information, please visit the Speakers Bureau Webpage.

I could speak to several topics that relate to rural and farm history in the Midwest, specifically Illinois, and the South. Most of my research focuses on experiences of  racial and ethnic minorities, which prepares me to discuss diversity historically. I can also discuss museum history and the role the public plays in selectively preserving and memorializing the past.


Dr. Reid's research interests focus on rural and minority history and living history farm and open air museum history and interpretation. She has published on such wide-ranging topics as interpreting gender in historic house museums, women's work in canning centers in Texas, and the family-based agricultural practices of Anabaptists in central Illinois.

Her most recent research is part of an article entitled "'The Whitest of Occupations': African Americans in the Rural Midwest Since World War II," under review as part of a collection of essays edited by J. L. Anderson (The Rural Midwest Since World War II). She is working on an article that compares the National Federation of Colored Farmers, a cooperative that operated out of Chicago between the 1920s and 1940s, to the American Farm Bureau Federation, and is starting a manuscript on the history of farming and rural life in Illinois.

Selected Publications

Dr. Reid's dissertation, “Reaping a Greater Harvest: African Americans, Agrarian Reform, and the Texas Agricultural Extension Service,” received the Agricultural History Society’s Gilbert C. Fite Dissertation Award (2001) and her first book,Reaping a Greater Harvest: African Americans, the Extension Service and Rural Reform in Jim Crow Texas (2007), received the T. R. Fehrenbach Award from the Texas Historical Commission. She has edited a collection of essays, Seeking Inalienable Rights: Texans and Their Quests for Justice (2009), and has co-edited Beyond Forty Acres and a Mule: African American Farm Owners Since Reconstruction with Evan P. Bennett (University Press of Florida, 2012).

Selected articles include "African Americans and Community Building: Lifting Despite Racism and Racial Separatism," Journal of Urban History 33, no. 1 (Nov. 2006), 1-11; "Furniture Exempt From Seizure: African-American Farm Families and Their Property in Texas, 1880s-1930s," Agricultural History 80, no. 3 (Summer 2006), 336-357; "African Americans, Community Building, and the Role of the State in Rural Reform in Texas, 1890s-1930s," in The Countryside in the Age of the Modern States: Political Histories of Rural America, edited by Catherine McNicol Stock and Robert D. Johnston (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2001), 38-65, and "Making Gender Matter: Reinterpreting Male and Female Roles in Historic House Museums," in Interpreting Historic House Museums, edited by Jessica Foy Donnelly (AltaMira Press, 2002), 81-110.

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