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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

Zakiya Dalila Harris and her novel, “The Other Black Girl”

Air Dates: July 26-August 1, 2021 “The Other Black Girl” is one of the most anticipated and critically acclaimed releases of 2021. Part thriller and part social commentary, the author Zakiya Dalila Harris has been heralded for her “genre-bending evisceration of workplace privilege.” Zakiya Dalila Harris is based in Brooklyn, New York, and has a passion for writing and talking about Blackness, books, and oldies music. Her debut novel and … Read More

Learning to Pray with Father James Martin, S.J.

Air Dates: July 19-25, 2021 The faithful among us often learn to pray as children.  We ask for things.  We might even, sometimes, say thank you.  Father James Martin asks what it would mean to pray like adults—and offers insights about faith in public life and the challenges to democracy. Rev. James Martin, SJ, is a Jesuit priest, editor at large of America magazine and consultor to the Vatican’s Dicastery … Read More

“Story in the Public Square:” A Look Back at One Year in Virtual Production

Above: Author and comedian Gina Brillon prepares to tape an episode of “Story in the Public Square” virtually with hosts Jim Ludes and G. Wayne Miller in November 2020. In early 2020, news of the coronavirus’ spread across the globe made headlines.  As the first cases emerged in Rhode Island, schools and offices closed; it became clear production of “Story in the Public Square” was no longer possible in the … Read More

Bringing Powerful Subjects to the Big Screen with Elaine McMillion Sheldon

Air Dates: July 13-18, 2021 Documentary filmmakers take us into the lives of their subjects in a way that the written word can’t capture. We see what they see. We get a sense of the physical space they occupy with our own eyes.  We hear their voices.  Elaine McMillion Sheldon weaves these elements together in powerful films that explore everything from love to addiction. McMillion Sheldon is an Academy Award-nominated, … Read More