Incorporating “Clybourne” into Christian thought. Q&A with professor Jeff Cramer
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Incorporating ‘Clybourne’ into Christian thought

A Q&A with professor Jeff Cramer

By Rylie Harrison | Echo

Jeff Cramer, associate professor of computer science and engineering, is just one of the many professors across Taylor’s campus who are choosing to incorporate discussion on “Clybourne Park” into their classes.

(Photograph provided by Jim Garringer)

Q: How do you plan to incorporate the play into your classes?

A: For (my) . . . Foundations (of the Christian Liberal Arts) course, we have included “Clybourne Park” along with the film series as one of the choices. So it’s not required for them to go, but we’ve been trying to get them to think about using it in place of one of the films for the course.

This week, senior sem has the night off — we’re not having class, and instead they’re supposed to go to the play. (We have required it) because it’s just too good to pass up.

And then the next week, we are having a couple faculty come in, including (the director) Tracy Manning. She’s coming to unpack with all the seniors about what they heard, what they learned and how it fits with the liberal arts. So we’re really using it.

Q: What kinds of conversations are you hoping to spark?

A: Any conversation where two people, or a group of people, are speaking and listening is a good conversation. (Especially) when it comes to issues like this, race, poverty and so forth. So I don’t have an exact goal for what conversations I want to happen, I just want conversations to happen. And the more the better. So if this play can drum up conversations in class and outside class, it’s good for our campus.

Q: Why do you think these conversations are important for students to be a part of?

A: Because . . . it’s the topic right now that our country and world (are discussing). Why are (these conversations) important? Because “Clybourne Park” is a real scenario. You know? (Gentrification, wealth, race issues), the play is based on historic and almost real events. There’s just too much to talk about . . . Even just the events of what’s going on in the NFL — players taking knees during the national anthem and that conversation . . . They’re protesting police brutality as they see police targeting African-American people.

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