The University of Texas of the Permian Basin
Department of Humanities and Fine Arts
4901 East University Boulevard
Odessa, Texas 79762
Derek Catsam is an assistant professor of history at The University of Texas of the Permian Basin. He writes on a broad range of topics, including race, politics, and social movements in the United States and Africa; global terrorism; and sports. He is the author of Bleeding Red: A Red Sox Fan’s Diary (2005) and Freedom's Main Line: The Journey of Reconciliation and the Freedom Rides (2011). He is also a member of the editorial boards of Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies and of the Journal of Social and Ecological Boundaries.
In May 1961, a group of courageous activists from across the United States met in Washington, DC, to commence “Freedom Ride ’61,” one of the most important direct-action challenges of the Civil Rights Movement. This presentation shows how the Freedom Rides had deep roots in the history of the black freedom struggle and reveals the importance of movement politics and massive resistance at the local, state, and national levels.
What is it about sports that will drive otherwise normal, well-balanced people to swear at television sets, dress up in bizarre costumes, paint their bodies, shed clothing in sub-freezing weather, and hug complete strangers? This presentation will explore these questions through the lenses of one of the most passionate fan bases in sports, the phenomenon known as "Red Sox Nation."
This presentation, based on the speaker’s experiences in places such as Northern Ireland, Israel, and Africa, will explore the global nature of modern terrorism, how terrorism has emerged historically, and what states have done to combat terrorism.
In the 1940s and 1950s, in both the United States and South Africa, there was a wave of activism aimed at fighting white supremacy. At the center of these struggles was a series of bus boycotts in both countries. In South Africa, township residents on several occasions used boycotts to protest rapidly rising fares and to challenge the apartheid system. Meanwhile, in the United States, against a backdrop of both heightened civil rights activity and a rising tide of massive resistance, Black Americans in Tallahassee, Baton Rouge, and Montgomery engaged in their own bus boycotts. This presentation will reveal the similarities and differences in the boycott campaigns in the U.S. and South Africa.
When Africa appears in the news, the stories are almost always unremittingly grim. And yet, on this vast continent, there is also hope despite the tragedy. This presentation on the state of contemporary Africa is based on the speaker’s work on African affairs as a professor and scholar and as the writer and blogger on African-related issues for the Foreign Policy Association, a New York-based think tank on foreign affairs.