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Story in the Public SquareStory in the Public Square

Story in the Public SquareStory in the Public SquareEpisode 0123
Guest: Daphne Matziaraki

Each year, the Pell Center at Salve Regina University presents the Pell Center Prize for Story in the Public Square to a storyteller whose work makes a vital contribution to the public dialogue. This year, we honor Daphne Matziaraki, a documentary filmmaker who reminds us of our shared humanity.  

Story in the Public SquareStory in the Public SquareEpisode 0122
Guest: Thomas Patterson

The media’s role in modern American politics is that of investigator, arbitrator, and even king maker. Guest Thomas Patterson argues that, contrary to popular belief, media bias is not about left and right, but about positive and negative.

Story in the Public SquareStory in the Public SquareEpisode 0121
​Guest: Joseph “Butch” Rovan

Music and art, like storytelling, are distinctively human creations. Today’s guest, Joseph “Butch” Rovan, works in both media to tell stories, challenge assumptions, and explore our humanity.  

Episode 0120
Guest: Karen Tramontano

In the aftermath of the Second World War, political leaders built a global system of free trade because they believed it was crucial to world peace.  Like so much of the post-war order, that belief is under assault in the 21st century. Guest Karen Tramontano argues that free trade agreements can serve their original purpose even while helping workers.  

Episode 0119
Guest: John Farrell

With allegations of a cover-up and obstruction of justice circulating in Washington, Americans in 2017 are looking to the presidency of Richard Nixon for precedent and understanding.  Our guest, John Farrell, literally wrote the book on Nixon’s life after his own career covering politics in Washington, D.C.

Episode 0118
Guest: Tricia Rose

After the 2008 election of President Barack Obama, Time Magazine asked if we had entered a post-racial America. From the perspective of 2017, the question seems ridiculous. Tricia Rose argues, in fact, that structural racism is the key driver of inequality in the United States.

Episode 0117
Guest: Anthony Leiserowitz

Despite decades of consistent warning from the scientific community, the American public remains divided on the issue of climate change.  Yale University’s Anthony Leiserowitz says there are six Americas in the climate debate—and you cannot communicate with each one in the same way.

Episode 0116
Guest: Narges Bajoghli

Chemicals weapons are in the news again following their use against civilians in Syria. Western audiences might most commonly associate chemical weapons with the first World War a century ago, but this week’s guest Narges Bajoghli shares stories from veterans of a more recent conflict – the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980’s.

Episode 0115
Guest:  Paul Gionfriddo

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 50 million adult Americans live with a diagnosable mental health disorder. Despite its prevalence, Paul Gionfriddo confronts a lot of myths in the discussion of mental health issues in America. He joins hosts Jim Ludes and G. Wayne Miller this week on “Story in the Public Square.”

Episode 0114
Guest: Alina Polyakova

According to the U.S. intelligence community, Russia intervened in America’s 2016 presidential campaign to benefit one candidate. As shocking as that revelation was, our guest Alina Polyakova warns it’s all part of a broader pattern of Russian efforts directed against the West.

Episode 0113
Guest: Kevin Doyle, Sauda Jackson

As long as there has been live theater, artists have grappled with the public issues of their day. From the ancient Greeks to today, theater has had the power to provoke, inspire, and challenge authorities and orthodoxies. This week, playwright Kevin Doyle and actor Sauda Jackson help us explore the power of theater.

Story in the Public SquareStory in the Public SquareEpisode 0112
Guest: Dr. Sean Kay

In 1958, Danny and the Juniors told us “Rock and Roll is Here to Stay,” and by the 1970s, punk had celebrated the triumvirate of “sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll.”  Guest Sean Kay says rock and roll played a more substantial role in the history of the last half-century. It changed America and spread the values of freedom, equality, human rights and peace across the globe.  

Episode 0111
Guest: Bob Hackey

From Richard Nixon to Donald Trump, leaders on both sides of the political aisle have described the state of American healthcare in terms intended to scare and mobilize voters. Guest Bob Hackey argues that those cries of crisis have warped the healthcare debate.  

Episode 0110
Guest: Michael D. Kennedy

University professors and intellectuals are often dismissed as elites, divorced from real life and disconnected from the problems of real people. Guest Michael Kennedy sees their role differently and argues, in fact, that intellectuals and universities are agents of global change. 

Episode 0109
Guest: Michael Corkery

For every new regulation his administration issues, President Trump has said two regulations have to be eliminated, but what about the ordinary Americans many of these regulations were designed to protect? Are we heading back to the days of predatory lenders?  Hosts Jim Ludes and G. Wayne Miller sit down with Michael Corkery, a New York Times financial journalist, to try to make sense of the financial stories affecting Americans everywhere.  

Story in the Public SquareStory in the Public SquareEpisode 0108
Guest: Irvin Scott

Everyone who has ever gone to school has something to say about teachers, about schools, and about education in general. But is popular opinion—fueled, often, by myth and anecdote—as valid as the considered judgments of educators and researchers?  Educational leader Dr. Irvin Scott joins hosts Jim Ludes and G. Wayne Miller to help make sense of the education debate.

Episode 0107
Guest: Eric Bennett

This week, hosts Jim Ludes and G. Wayne Miller are joined by a remarkably talented scholar and novelist whose work, whether for academic or popular audiences, traces the role of both narrative and truth in public life.  Eric Bennett is the author of several books, including the novel A Big Enough Lie.

Episode 0106
Guest: Katherine Brown

Story in the Public SquareStory in the Public Square With the transfer of power in Washington, the stories the United States tells the world are changing, too.  Hosts Jim Ludes and G. Wayne Miller are joined by Katherine Brown, a public diplomacy professional who has served the United States from the corridors of Foggy Bottom to Kabul, Afghanistan.

Episode 0105 
Guest: Marc Smerling

SIPSSIPS Politicians and voters may hate crime, but American audiences can’t get enough of shows like CSI or Law and Order.  This week on “Story in the Public Square,” hosts Jim Ludes and G. Wayne Miller are joined by Marc Smerling, an Emmy-winning filmmaker who has intimately chronicled some of America’s most notorious criminals.  

Episode 0104
Guest: Jonathan Alexandratos

How we play and how we teach our children to play are tremendously important narratives in public life.  This week’s guest, Jonathan Alexandratos, argues that “toys are texts,” and we should read them with the same analytical eye we bring to books, movies, songs, and other media.

Episode 0103
Guest: Dan Fagin

Story in the Public SquareStory in the Public Square Science is simultaneously celebrated, ignored, and criticized in public life. In this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” hosts Jim Ludes and G. Wayne Miller sit down with Pulitzer-Prize winning science journalist Dan Fagin to better understand the power of science to explain the world around us, whether we like what it’s telling us, or not.

Episode 0102
Guest: Lorén Spears, Christian Hopkins

One of the big stories of the last six months has been the protest over the Dakota Access Pipeline.  This week on “Story in the Public Square,” two Native American activists talk about events on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation and the role of storytelling in native culture.

Episode 0101 
Guest: Tom Nichols

Story in the Public SquareStory in the Public Square The United States finds itself in the midst of an information war with an old adversary.  This week, national security analyst Tom Nichols will help us understand the contours of that conflict, the role of storytelling in it, and also the implications of what he calls “the death of expertise.”  Join hosts Jim Ludes and G. Wayne Miller this week on “Story in the Public Square.”  MORE INFO >


Story in the Public Square airs on Rhode Island PBS on Sundays at 11 a.m., with rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program airs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. ET and Sundays at 1:30 a.m. and 12:30 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 weekly public affairs series featuring 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 series is co-hosted by Jim Ludes, executive director of the Pell Center at Salve Regina University, and by G. Wayne Miller, award-winning journalist at The Providence Journal, visiting fellow, and director of the Story in the Public Square initiative, a partnership between the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy and The Providence Journal. The initiative aims to study, celebrate, and tell stories that matter.

Our Twitter Handle: @pubstory

Story in the Public SquareStory in the Public Square