local programs & productions

Story in the Public SquareStory in the Public Square

Episode 0221
Guest: Matthew Gault

The United States is engaged in nuclear brinksmanship with a reclusive despot whose regime is determined to develop nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them to the United States.  Matthew Gault argues that the American public isn’t worried enough about these issues.

Episode 0220
Guest: Tara Copp

Whether it’s a film like “Saving Private Ryan,” or a memoir like “A Helmet for My Pillow,” the temptation to romanticize war—and the Second World War, in particular—is part of American life. Tara Copp made sense of her own experience in the Iraq war, by understanding her grandfather’s service more than 70 years ago.

Episode 0219
Guest: Rear Admiral Jeffrey A. Harley     

Among its many missions, the U.S. military also operates a system of schools that provide professional military education—or PME—to rising leaders in each service.  Rear Admiral Jeffrey A. Harley has charted a new path for the U.S. Naval War College at a time of historic global challenges.


Episode 0218
Guest: Christopher Brown

Speculative fiction, from the most fantastic science fiction to the bleakest dystopias, shines a light on current issues and the reality we know in the here and now. Writer and lawyer, Christopher Brown uses narrative as a laboratory about governance, political violence, and even what it means to be American. His debut novel, Tropic of Kansas, depicts a fractured United States in the aftermath of another Civil War.

Episode 0217
Guest: Esther Schor

This week’s guest on “Story in the Public Square,” Esther Schor, puts Emma Lazarus’ famous poem on the Statue of Liberty, “The New Colossus,” into historic and contemporary context.

Episode 0216
Guest: Charles Dorn

Higher education in the United States is a nearly-$600 billion per year industry that some observers describe as unsustainable and on the verge of a fundamental crisis.  Guest, Charles Dorn argues those stories are overblown and that colleges and universities can still serve the common good.

Episode 0215
Guest: Adam Segal

For more than 20 years, experts have warned about a “digital-Pearl Harbor” when the West’s dependence on information technology would be exploited at great cost and peril.  Guest Adam Segal argues that the reality of the cyber threat has proven even more complex and dangerous than expected.

Episode 0214
Guest: Abigail Brooks

Cosmetic surgery was a $16 billion industry in 2016.  Abigail Brooks, says the explosive growth in cosmetic procedures is an outgrowth of deregulation in the healthcare industry, and it’s affecting the way we think about aging.

Episode 0213
Guest: Stephen Pimpare

More than forty million Americans live in poverty today.  Guest, Stephen Pimpare, looks at the way the poor and the homeless are portrayed in public life—and it doesn’t match the reality he knows.

Episode 0212
Guest: Julian C. Chambliss

In the August heat, the United States rejoined a battle over the Confederacy, this time, over municipal plans to remove Civil War monuments. Guest Julian C. Chambliss says the debate is not so much about history, as it is about our collective memory.

Episode 0211
Guest: Sunshine Menezes

Science tells us that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma were stronger because of climate change.  That view is politically controversial, even if it is based on sound science. Guest Sunshine Menezes helps scientists communicate more effectively.

Episode 0210
Guest: Allan A. Ryan

The laws of war are intended to protect the innocent as well as combatants. Guest Allan A. Ryan argues they are also intended to provide justice after conflicts end.

Episode 0209 
Guest: Jason Healey

Information technology has changed nearly everything about modern living: the way we communicate, earn a living, and even how we date.  Guest Jason Healey examines the implications of cybersecurity on war and statecraft.


Episode 0208
Guest: David K. Jones

The politics of the healthcare debate seem to have ground to a halt in Washington—at least for now.  But guest David Jones reminds us that the healthcare needs of the public still face substantial challenges. 


Episode 0207
Guest: Tim Gray

One of the biggest Hollywood block-busters this summer is about the earliest days of World War II.  Guest Tim Gray is an acclaimed chronicler of the Americans who defeated the Axis Powers and saved civilization.


Episode 0206
Guest: John Marttila

Storytelling is at the heart of political campaigns. Guest John Marttila has studied those stories as part of a four-decade career in American politics.

Episode 0205
Guest: Casey Michel

The national security community has warned us that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election is only a preview of what Russia might do in the 2018 and 2020 elections. Casey Michel argues that Russian intervention in American public life is even more serious, now, than even that dire prediction. 


Episode 0204
Guest: Eve L. Ewing

Race in American life is still a very powerful force.  Eve L. Ewing explores its potency in her scholarship and bears often personal witness to it in her art and in her poetry.

Episode 0203
Guest: Michael Klare

In grade school, we learned about the 19th century competition between European great powers for control of Africa’s natural resources.  Guest Michael Klare warns about a 21st century scramble for what’s left.


Episode 0202
Guest: Daniel Drezner

Policy debates in Washington have long been dominated by think-tanks and academics who populate the marketplace of ideas. Daniel Drezner argues that new players are entering the field, such as global consultancies and billionaire-funded pet projects.

Episode 0201
Guest: Christopher Vials

In the 1930s and early 1940s, prominent Americans publically endorsed a policy of “America First,” even if that meant turning a blind eye to the violence done in Europe by fascist political parties in Italy and, especially Germany. Christopher Vials argues that American fascism has roots that go back to the end of World War I—and is enjoying new dynamism today.  


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