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Dr. Debra A Reid


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

Debra Reid's Vita

Office Hours: 1:00-2:00; 3:30-4:00 pm Mon, 9:30-11:00 Tues; 9:30-Noon Thurs & by appointment


Current Syllabi

Frequently Taught Courses

HIS 3810: History of Illinois
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 president of the Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums and co-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.


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 "Searching for Egalitarianism in Citizenship Education," Phi Kappa Phi Forum 94, no. 3 (Fall 2014): 9-11; “’The Whitest of Occupations’: African Americans in the Rural Midwest since World War II,” in The Rural Midwest Since World War II, edited by J. L. Anderson (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2013): 205-254; “Tangible Agricultural History: An Artifact’s-Eye View of the Field,” Agricultural History 86, no. 3 (Summer 2012), 57-76; "Furniture Exempt From Seizure: African-American Farm Families and Their Property in Texas, 1880s-1930s," Agricultural History 80, no. 3 (Summer 2006), 336-357; 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.