Pell Center

The Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina is a multidisciplinary research center focused at the intersection of politics, policies and ideas.

Analyzing American Politics Through a Pop-Culture Lens with Joanna Weiss

Air Dates: January 15-21, 2024

Most who write about politics focus on the horse-race of elections or the specifics of policies.  But Joanna Weiss says we should view American politics—especially current American politics—through a pop-culture lens.

Weiss is the executive director of the AI Literacy Lab at Northeastern University, a project to connect journalists and technologists. She is a contributing writer at POLITICO Magazine and is a former columnist, television critic, and political reporter at the Boston Globe; and the founding editor of Experience magazine, published by Northeastern University. She started her career covering Louisiana politics for the Times-Picayune of New Orleans. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Slate, The Economist, Pacific Standard, and Boston Magazine, and was anthologized in the book “Nasty Women and Bad Hombres: Gender and Race in the 2016 Presidential Election.” She has appeared on local, national and international television and radio.

On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” Weiss discusses the parallels between American politicians today and the cult followings of modern celebrities, saying their innate understanding of how to get and keep attention and ability to evoke a sense of belonging among their supporters have contributed to their success.

“Story in the Public Square” broadcasts each week on public television stations across the United States. A full listing of the national television distribution is available at this link. In Rhode Island and southeastern New England, the show is broadcast on Rhode Island PBS on Sundays at 11:00 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program airs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. ET, Sundays at 4:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m. ET on SiriusXM’s popular P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of the United States), channel 124. “Story in the Public Square” is a project of the Pell Center at Salve Regina University. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.