Derek Alderman

Professor and Department Head

Phone: 865-974-0406
E-mail: dalderma@utk.edu

Departmental Website


Derek Alderman is an expert in cultural and historical geography, specifically related to public memory, heritage tourism, the civil rights movement, and African-American history. He has co-authored the book Civil Rights Memorials and the Geography of Memory and has written numerous book chapters and scholarly articles. His research has been highlighted by such media outlets as BBC News Magazine, USA Today, CNN, and Reuters. He founded the RESET (Race, Ethnicity, and Social Equity in Tourism) Initiative, a research and outreach initiative that seeks to identify, study, and challenge patterns of social inequity in the current tourism industry.

Topics of expertise: Cultural and historic geography, particularly of the US South; streets and landmarks named after Martin Luther King Jr.; heritage tourism; and Civil Rights memorials.

Recent media coverage:

Three weeks after Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination in 1968, the city council in Mainz, Germany, named a street for the slain civil rights leader—doing in just a few days what King’s birthplace of Atlanta took eight years to do. National Geographic, Wendi Thomas, March 12

The future of a Detroit house connected to Rosa Parks is in limbo as two groups fight over whether the civil rights figure ever lived in the house and offer conflicting views about what the home represents. Detroit Free Press, Frank Witsil, March 21