Derek Alderman News

Professor Uses Plantations to Examine Race in America


As the nation pauses to recognize civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. next Monday, a UT professor is reflecting on the country’s racial history in a different way—by examining plantations.

The Politics of Place-Naming


Geography Department Head Derek Alderman published an article in Social Education which constructed a lesson for helping teachers and students

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Pregame Showcase Kicks Off Twenty-fourth Season with Wide-Ranging Topics

It’s football time in Tennessee—and that means it’s also time for the College of Arts and Sciences Pregame Showcase. Now in its twenty-fourth season, the Pregame Showcase gives fans the chance to hear from esteemed faculty prior to each gridiron matchup. This year’s first showcase will be held at 4:00 p.m. this Saturday. Derek Alderman, professor and head of the geography department, will discuss “What’s In a Name? The ‘Place Politics’ of Streets Named for Martin Luther King Jr.”

WMRA: A Street for MLK?

Derek Alderman, head of the Department of Geography, was interviewed by WMRA in Harrisonburg, Virginia about the politics of naming

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UT Professor Studies How Streets Are Named for Martin Luther King Jr.


Streets connect us and define our humanity. Their names tell us where we work, where we play, and where we live. Streets dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. do all these things as well, but they also bring to life some of the successes—and continuing struggles—America faces in the civil rights arena. Derek Alderman, professor and department head of geography at UT is a specialist on streets named for King. Alderman is a cultural and historical geographer; he looks into how places are used to express culture and commemorate the past, and how these places become important.