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Geography in the Bluegrass Day

The University of Kentucky Department of Geography invites you to our 49th Annual Geography in the Bluegrass Day, a celebration of the Geography program, our history, our students and faculty, our alumni and friends, and the achievements of all. 

Schedule of Events, Friday April 21, 2023                     

  • A Friday Afternoon Address by Prof. Derek Alderman, Professor of Geography at the University of Tennessee, held at the Farish Theater in the downtown Lexington Public Library at 3:30pm.
  • A Reception and Awards Dinner at The Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center in downtown Lexington to celebrate. Contact the Department Office for more details.

America’s Renaming Moment: On Realizing Its Reparative Possibilities
Prof. Derek Alderman, University of Tennessee

America is in the midst of place renaming moment. Names affixed to spaces across a variety of scales-- from city streets and university campuses to national parks and military bases—are being challenged and changed because they valorize historical figures associated with racism, settler colonialism, and patriarchy. In addition to this de-commemoration, communities are using place names as tools of reparative memory-work, to recover and do justice to erased indigenous ties to the land and the neglected contributions of people of color, women, and queer communities. While this renaming moment has been criticized (and rightly so to some degree) for being a performative distraction from “real issues,” such a perspective can too easily dismiss the nation’s history of place name activism along with how some members of historically marginalized groups view commemoratively named places as important to their lived experiences, identity struggles, and political-emotional wellbeing. Dr. Alderman explores the narrative, material, and affective capacities of place naming and along with what is required—intellectually and practically—to realize the full reparative possibilities of the nation’s renaming moment. Such possibilities depend upon communities responding to the violent racialized and gendered histories behind named places, recasting place naming as a public participatory and regenerative process, and recognizing how commemorative renaming works with wider place-making discourses, practices, and locations to reproduce (or resist) social inequality.


Past Speakers

  • Julie Guthman, Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz [2022]
  • Karl Raitz, Emeritus Professor, University of Kentucky [2019]
  • Sarah Elwood, Professor, University of Washington [2018]
  • John Paul Jones, Professor, University of Arizona [2017]
  • Jennifer Hyndman, Professor, York University [2016]
  • Michael Brown, Professor, University of Washington [2015]
  • John Kupfer, Professor, University of South Carolina [2014]
  • Sarah Whatmore, Professor, University of Oxford [2013]
  • Trevor Barnes, Professor, University of British Columbia [2012]
  • Karl Zimmerer, Professor, Penn State University [2011]
  • Lynn Staeheli, Professor, University of Edinburgh [2010]
  • Carol Harden, Professor, University of Tennessee [2009]
  • Jamie Peck, Professor, University of Wisconsin (Madison) [2008]
  • Amy Glasmeier, Professor, Pennsylvania State University [2007]
  • Craig Colten, Professor, Louisiana State University [2006]
  • Nuala Johnson, Reader, Queen's University of Belfast, UK [2005]
  • John Antenucci, Founder and CEO, Plangraphics [2004]
  • Sallie Marston, Professor, University of Arizona [2003]
  • Sally Horn, Professor, University of Tennessee [2002]
  • Victoria Lawson, Professor, University of Washington [2001]
  • Eric Sheppard, Professor, University of Minnesota [2000]
  • Richard Walker, Professor, University of California, Berkeley [1999]
  • Susan Hanson, Professor, Clark University [1998]
  • Ron Eller, Director, Appalachian Center, University of Kentucky [1997]
  • David Harvey, Professor, Johns Hopkins University [1996]
  • Gurney Norman, Professor, University of Kentucky [1995]
  • B. L. Turner, II, Professor, Clark University [1994]
  • John A. Agnew, Professor, Syracuse University [1993]
  • George J. Demko, Professor, Dartmouth College [1992]
  • Anne Buttimer, Professor, Universite d'Ottawa [1991]
  • Saul B. Cohen, Professor, Hunter College [1990]
  • Harm J. deBlij, Professor, University of Miami [1989]
  • Sam Bowers Hilliard, Professor, Louisiana State University [1988]
  • Risa Palm, Professor, University of Colorado [1987]
  • Melvin G. Marcus, Professor, Arizona State University [1986]
  • Chistopher L. Salter, Professor, University of California, Los Angeles [1985]
  • Julian V. Minghi, Professor, University of South Carolina [1984]
  • Barry C. Bishop, Asst. to the President, National Geographic Society [1983]
  • Grady Clay, Editor, Landscape Architecture [1982]
  • Peirce Lewis, Professor, Pennsylvania State University [1981]
  • Michael P. Conzen, Professor, University of Chicago [1980]
  • Cotton Mather, Professor, University of Minnesota [1979]
  • Marvin Mikesell, Professor, University of Chicago [1978]
  • Preston James, Maxwell Professor, Syracuse University [1977]
  • Langdon White, Professor, Stanford University [1976]
  • John Fraser Hart, Professor, University of Minnesota [1975]
  • Preston James, Maxwell Professor, Syracuse University [1974]
  • J. R. Schwendeman, Professor Emeritus, University of Kentucky [1973]