Samuel Rogers

Education: 

B.A. Secondary Education with a focus in Social Studies, Samford University, 2017

Bio: 

I am an MA student researching the intersection of political identity and youth culture in the modern United States under Dr. Catherine Rymph. Specifically, I examine how political identity is expressed through student and cultural movements. Right now, my research looks at political activism on college campuses.

My Master’s thesis focuses on the divestment protest at the University of Missouri in the mid-1980s. Hoping to take a moral and financial stand against Apartheid in South Africa, Mizzou students protested the University’s investments in companies that did business there by building shanties on the school’s main quadrangle. The shanties were meant to imitate the living conditions of black South Africans and draw attention to the issue, putting pressure on the University to divest. Mizzou eventually divested, but only after administrators continually challenged the students’ right to free speech. Further, many students and local Missourians disagreed with divestment and adversely responded to the protesters.

I intend for my thesis to draw connections between the University of Missouri’s divestment movement and the larger narrative of political activism at the University during the late-1970s and 1980s. This project will examine Mizzou’s divestment as a moment of heightened student political activity, demonstrating how and why divestment was adopted by University students during the Reagan era, and why it is an important political event that occurred in the 1980s. Within these parameters, I am researching student activism’s role in the Curators’ decision to divest the University’s funds. I am also interested in understanding why divestiture became student activists’ primary concern, rather than a host of other politically charged issues. Finally, I aim to understand the contentious response that the divestment movement garnered from students and citizens across Missouri.

Selected Presentations:

  • “The History of the Bangor Cave Nightclub,” Phi Alpha Theta Alabama Regional Meeting, Troy University, Montgomery Campus; Saturday, February 25, 2017. 

Publications:

  • “The History of the Bangor Cave Nightclub,” in the Troy Alexandrian 2017, Volume 6, Issue 2, February 25, 2017.