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University of Central Oklahoma
rweber6@uco.edu (405) 974-5633 Humanities and Philosophy LAR 205 , Box 184

About

Reid Weber, a native of Wisner, Nebraska (population 1,000), is in his second year at UCO in the department of Humanities and Philosophy. His winding path to Edmond, Oklahoma, has taken him from his BA at Wayne State College, Nebraska, to teaching English in the Slovak Republic, to an MA from Northern Illinois University and to his Doctoral Program in pre-modern History at the University of Florida. Other stops have included a Fulbright year in the Czech Republic, teaching Community College outside of Orlando, Florida, and two years teaching at Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts.

Weber’s research concerns cultural and religious history in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period, which, through necessity, led him to deep investigations into biblical history and interpretation. Currently, he is teaching Old Testament Humanities and is staying busy as the faculty sponsor for the Medieval Society at UCO. His crowning achievements are his multiple articles analyzing late medieval preaching, his wife and two daughters who somehow agreed to stay with him for ten nomadic years, and his massive Lego collection. Next semester, Weber is teaching Medieval Humanities in preparation for a strong UCO presence at the Norman Medieval Fair and is working on an article concerning the sacrament of Repentance during the Great Western Schism.

Classes Taught

University of Central Oklahoma

  • Medieval Humanities spring 2019
  • Old Testament Humanities fall 2018
  • The Long 15th Century: Society, Culture, and Religion, spring 2018
  • General Humanities: Renaissance to Modernity fall 2017/spring 2018/fall 2018

Fitchburg State University

  • World Civilizations to 1500, fall 2015/spring 2017; online summer 2016, fall 2016, summer 2017
  • Topics: Shared World, Insiders and Outsiders in the Early Modern Period, Graduate Seminar summer 2017
  • Topics: European Reformation, Graduate Seminar, spring 2017.
  • The European Renaissance, fall 2016
  • The French Revolution, spring 2016
  • The European Enlightenment, fall 2015

Polk State College, FL

  • Introduction to the Humanities fall 2014/ online spring 2015
  • World History from 1500, spring 2015

University of Florida

  • Writing for Research for McNair Honors Fellows, summer 2015
  • Writing for the Medical Profession, fall 2014/spring 2015
  • Writing in Business, fall 2014, spring 2015
  • Argument and Persuasion, fall 2014
  • European History 15001700, fall 2013
  • Rhetoric and Academic Writing, fall 2012/spring 2013.

Research, Published Work, and Scholarly Activities

Peer Reviewed Articles

“Synagogue of Satan: Jan Hus, Preaching, and Jewish Allegory.” Kosmas: Czechoslovak and Central European Journal, Prague: Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences, 2016, 27–43.

“‘A Priest’s Knowledge and Eloquence are a Gift from God:’ The Homiletic Self-Promotion of Jan Hus.” In “Bohemian Reformation and Religious Practice Symposium 10.” Edited by Zdenek David and David R. Holeton. Special issue, The Central European Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities 65, no. 2 (2015): 28–48.

Other Publications

Review: Fudge, Thomas A. Jerome of Prague and the Foundations of the Hussite Movement. In Church History. Forthcoming

“Jan Hus and the Beginning of the Hussite Movement.”  In Great Events in Religion: An Encyclopedia of Pivotal Events in Religious History. ABC-CLIO, Forthcoming.

Review: Philip Haberkern. Patron Saint and Prophet: Jan Hus and the Bohemian and German Reformations. In Theology. Vol. 120(2) 81-82, 2017.

Review: Lisa Wolverton. Cosmas of Prague: Narrative, Classicism, Politics. (Catholic University Press) In The Medieval Review. 2015. 15.10.47.

        https://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/tmr/article/view/20194/26284

Review: Fudge, Thomas A. Jan Hus: Religious Reform and Social Revolution in Bohemia. In Communio Viatorum, February 2012. Ed. Petr Sláma. Prague: Charles University and Thompson Rheuters, 211-15.

Review: Nicholas, David.  The Northern Lands: Germanic Europe c.1270-c.1500. In Alpata: A Journal of History, Vol 7. Spring 2010, 68-69.

Teaching Philosophy

College students have a natural but often unrealized curiosity about the past. They encounter historical themes all around them, in movies, games, books and television. I have seen students exhibit genuine excitement when they recognize names from the Showtime series "The Tudors" or when they recognize Florentine buildings and historical figures from the video game "Assassin’s Creed." Popular interest in history is widespread, and instructors need only meet students halfway with familiar themes to teach students how to transform curiosity into deeper appreciation. Part of the challenge of teaching history, however, is demonstrating that the discipline has value beyond the mere satisfaction of one’s curiosity. This is why I make every effort to meet students where they are, utilizing a variety of resources and techniques to engage students of all majors, helping them acquire a rich knowledge of history as well as advanced writing and research skills, which will benefit them in any career field.  

For the last three years, I have opened my World Civilization course with news reports and video about the ISIS (ISIL) destruction of Palmyra in Syria. I ask students to consider why the past could be a strategic target in the present and what someone might stand to gain from the destruction of antiquity. I want them to understand that even if they do not see history as affecting their lives, plenty of forces want to define their history for them. Students who discover a genuine interest in such material often become more engaged with a broad range of complex social, cultural, and political issues.   Fostering enthusiasm about history is only one of my goals, however. In my course outcomes I emphasize information literacy, executive management skills, and the development of effective evidence-based arguments, in addition to more history-specific objectives such as contextualization, chronology, and textual criticism. I teach my students how to nurture and apply the skills they develop in the classroom, no matter where their personal career paths may lead. I have repeatedly convinced skeptical students of the value of my courses by emphasizing the practicality of the writing and research methods and the broad utility of the communication style that I teach.

To further engage students, I use a variety of teaching methods, including guided discussions, dynamic lectures, exploration of rare book collections online, student presentations, class excursions to nearby religious buildings, assigned visits to local museums, and even online scavenger hunts that ask students to illustrate textual evidence with material culture. I take advantage of my university’s assets by utilizing embedded librarians and guest lectures by other experts at the university, and by making students aware of study abroad options. By reinforcing course outcomes with various approaches, students are more easily engaged; they learn to translate their skills to different media and venues, preparing themselves to be adaptable as they enter the job market. And if they can also identify Florentine buildings when playing video games, that’s just icing on the cake. 

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