The Drexel InterView Heads South

DrexelInterview in Memphis

The Drexel InterView is Drexel’s own television series, produced by the Pennoni Honors College. Hosted by Paula Marantz Cohen, Distinguished Professor of English and associate of the Honors College, the show interviews notable and emerging names in the fields of science, business, arts, and culture. The show has had prominent guests such as director John Waters and NASA Astronaut Christopher J. Ferguson. It is shown on over 340 educational, community, and public television stations in the United States and Canada.

Until now, the show has primarily been filmed in Philadelphia, with one trip to New York. Interviews usually take place in the University’s A.J. Drexel Picture Gallery. This summer The Drexel InterView broke out of its East Coast comfort zone and visited Memphis for several upcoming episodes.

Two episodes were filmed in the Lorraine Motel, now home to the Civil Rights Museum, on the balcony were Martin Luther King was shot. In one episode, Cohen interviews the curators of the museum. In the second episode, she speaks to the Superintendent of Memphis schools, Dr. Kriner Cash. Cash is a controversial figure in the Memphis area for his plans to redistrict the Memphis schools.

Other upcoming interviews from the trip include Joy Smith, the artist behind the exhibit “Literacy within Reach,” which was exhibited in Drexel’s Leonard Pearlstein Gallery in April. Smith, whose exhibition has a permanent home in Memphis, is well known for her art, which was featured prominently on The Cosby Show. It was thanks to Drexel’s connection to The Joysmith Gallery that the trip to Memphis was initially planned.

The Drexel InterView team also stopped by the Confucius Institute in Memphis. The Chinese government founded dozens of these institutes across the United States to help Americans better understand Chinese culture. Dr. Cohen interviewed Dr. Hsiang-te Kung, a 75th generation descendent of Confucius and the director of the Institute.

You can see The Drexel InterView’s Memphis episodes on public television in early 2013.