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Story in the Public Square

Lisa Genova receiving Pell Center Prize in 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Studying and celebrating public storytelling in American politics and culture.

Storytelling is an ancient and underappreciated element of public life. Think of Christ’s parables or Plato’s dialogues – both used stories to communicate, instruct, inspire and persuade. In the American experience, think of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” which fueled the abolitionist movement prior to the Civil War, or Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle,” which contributed to a wave of reform and regulation in American industry.

However they are communicated (film, books, word of mouth, blogs, among other means), stories have the ability to touch listeners and viewers in a way that the cold hard facts of exposition never can.

Stories, of course, are like any tool that can be used in many ways. They can be either truthful or untruthful. They can illuminate or obscure important facts. They can educate or they can propagandize.

Hosted by Jim Ludes, Executive Director of the Pell Center at Salve Regina University, and G. Wayne Miller, senior staff writer at The Providence Journal, “Story in the Public Square” features interviews with today’s best print, screen, music, and other storytellers about their creative processes and how their stories impact public understanding and policy.

The audio version of “Story in the Public Square” airs 8:30 a.m. & 6:30 p.m. ET, Sundays at 4:30 a.m. & 11:30 p.m. ET on SiriusXM’s popular P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of the United States), channel 124. Episodes are also broadcast 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 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.

You can listen to the official podcast and download episodes for free on our Story in the Public Square show page as well as on iTunes, SpotifyGoogle Play, Google Podcast, TuneIn, and Stitcher.

“Story in the Public Square” is a partnership between the Pell Center and The Providence Journal. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.

Recent Story in the Public Square Blog Posts

Exploring Identity and Hope with Padma Venkatraman

Air Dates: September 20-26, 2021 The idea of “caste,” or a hereditary structure to society is foreign to many U.S. audiences. But Padma Venkatraman takes young readers into the caste structure of her native India in a soulful exploration of identity and hope. Venkatraman is an award-winning author who was born in Chennai, India.  Before becoming a novelist, she earned a Ph.D. in oceanography from The College of William and … Read More

A Look Ahead at the COVID-19 Pandemic with Dr. Ashish Jha

Air Dates: September 13-19, 2021 When schools finished the academic year earlier this summer, they looked forward to the fall with the first cautious optimism anyone had felt in years.  But Dr. Ashish Jha has offered level-headed wisdom that the pandemic simply is not over. Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH, is a physician, health policy researcher, and the Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health.  Before joining Brown, … Read More

Uncovering the Secret History of the War in Afghanistan with Craig Whitlock

Air Dates: September 6-12, 2021 It’s been 20 years since the attacks of 9/11.  Next month, we’ll mark the 20th anniversary of the arrival of American troops in Afghanistan who toppled the Taliban regime and hunted down Osama bin Laden.  Now, as American combat troops leave Afghanistan, we sit down with Craig Whitlock who has pieced together the secret history—warts and all—of America’s war in a land long-called “the graveyard … Read More

Modern Democracy and the Assault from Within with Tom Nichols

Air Dates: August 30-September 5, 2021 Democracy is under attack—in the former Soviet-dominated lands of Eastern Europe, in Turkey, Brazil, India, and yes, even the United States.  Tom Nichols urges us not to just look for leaders to whom we can ascribe blame, but to look at ourselves and discern our own role in the weakening of America’s democratic institutions. Nichols is a professor at the U.S. Naval War College … Read More