• Spring 2020 Event Series Announced

    The Pell Center has announced its event series for Spring 2020. Tickets to these events are free and will become available approximately two weeks prior to the event date. Please RSVP for each event on the Pell Center’s Eventbrite page and call 401-341-2927 or email [email protected] with any questions. Scroll to the bottom of this page to join our email list and stay informed about when tickets become available.

    Please note, all events will take place at the Bazarsky Lecture Hall in the O’Hare Academic Center with the exception of our April 2 event, Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore, which will take place at Ochre Court.


    Film Screening & Discussion: “Midway” followed by Q&A with Dr. William Leeman, Department of History, Salve Regina University

    January 28, 2020, 6:00 p.m.

    Bazarsky Lecture Hall, O’Hare Academic Building, Salve Regina University


    The Information Trade: How Tech Companies Act Like Countries & What It Means for Our Democracy

    Dr. Alexis Wichowski, Columbia University

    February 18, 2020, 7:00 p.m.

    Bazarsky Lecture Hall, O’Hare Academic Building, Salve Regina University


    Multicultural Education Week

    A Conversation with Dr. Cornel West moderated by Dr. Kelli J. Armstrong, President, Salve Regina University Presented by the Offices of Student Engagement & Multicultural Programs and Retention

    February 25, 2020, 7:00 p.m.

    Bazarsky Lecture Hall, O’Hare Academic Building, Salve Regina University


    Why They Marched: Celebrating the Centennial of Women’s Suffrage in Partnership with the League of Women Voters of Newport County

    Dr. Susan Ware, Historian and Leading Feminist Biographer

    March 3, 2020, 7:00 p.m.

    Bazarsky Lecture Hall, O’Hare Academic Building, Salve Regina University


    China Rising: The Future of U.S. China Relations

    Panelists:

    Ms. Dorinda Elliott, China Institute.

    Dr. Gary Jefferson, Carl Marks Professor of International Trade and Finance, Brandeis University and renowned specialist on the China economy.

    Ambassador Nicholas Platt, served as ambassador to Pakistan, Philippines, Zambia and high-level diplomat in Canada, China, Hong Kong and Japan. He is the former president of The Asia Society.

    Dr. Lewis Rutherfurd is a pioneer venture capital investor in China and other emerging markets in Asia. He also serves as a consultant to the Pell Center.

    March 10, 2020, 7:00 p.m.

    Bazarsky Lecture Hall, O’Hare Academic Building


    Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore

    Elizabeth Rush, author – finalists for the Pulitzer-Prize

    April 2, 2020, 6:30 p.m.

    Ochre Court, Salve Regina University

    This event is in partnership with RI Center for the Book. Seating will be limited.


    Fourth Annual John E. McGinty Lecture in History

    Elements of Presidential Leadership

    Dr. Robert Dallek, Professor of History Emeritus, University of California-Los Angeles

    April 23, 2020, 6:30 p.m.

    Location: Bazarsky Lecture Hall, O’Hare Academic Building

    Film Screening & Discussion: “The Newport Bridge: A Rhode Island Icon” followed by Q&A with producers Jamie McGuire and Michelle Abbott

    April 28, 2020, 6:30 p.m.

    Bazarsky Lecture Hall, O’Hare Academic Building, Salve Regina University

  • The Death of Expertise with Tom Nichols

    Air Dates: January 20-26, 2020

    In a meeting on Capitol Hill 15 years ago, a respected foreign policy analyst said that most national security assessments out of Washington ignored the elephant in the room: the United States and the impact of our domestic politics on the state of the world.  While Tom Nichols wasn’t in the room that day, he brings a rigorous analytical mind steeped in national security to his analysis of the world around us. 

    Nichols is a U.S. Naval War College University Professor, and an adjunct professor at both the U.S. Air Force School of Strategic Force Studies and the Harvard Extension School.  He specializes in Russian affairs, nuclear strategy, NATO issues, and is a nationally-known commentator on U.S. politics and national security.  Nichols was a staff member in the United States Senate, a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Harvard Kennedy School, and previously taught at Dartmouth, La Salle University, and Georgetown.  He is also a five-time undefeated ‘Jeopardy!’ champion, and was noted in the ‘Jeopardy!’ Hall of Fame after his 1994 appearances as one of the all-time best players of the game.  Nichols is the author of The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters.”

    On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” Nichols describes the rise of anti-expertise sentiments which he credits with today’s unparalleled access to information.  He says that while technology has helped facilitate global peace through greater connectedness, it has also “flooded us with cheap, easy information that actually confirms us in our biases [and] makes us lazy in seeking better information.”  Nichols says the internet is structured to reward instantaneous opinions, which he adds, “indulges a certain amount of narcissism.”

    “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 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program 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. “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.

  • How to be a Happier Parent with KJ Dell’Antonia

    Air Dates: January 13-19, 2020

    There are some people who believe that they are prepared to critique teachers’ performances because they went to elementary school themselves.  The confidence of what seemed to work for us as individuals fuels a lot of stress for teachers.  The same can be said about parenting.  Nothing saps the confidence of the uninitiated quite like the reality of actually becoming a parent.  KJ Dell’ Antonia however, tells parents to cut themselves some slack. 

    Dell’Antonia is a former New York Times reporter, editor and lead blogger of The Times’ “The Motherlode Blog,” and current Times contributor.  She is the author of the critically acclaimed book, “How to be a Happier Parent: Raising a Family, Having a Life, and Loving (Almost) Every Minute” and the forthcoming novel “The Chicken Sisters.”  Before The Times, she was a Slate XX Factor blogger and a contributor to Slate, where she covered parenting and a broad range of subjects, from legal issues to pop culture. Dell’Antonia is a graduate of Kansas State University, where she earned a bachelor of science degree in business and physical anthropology, and the University of Chicago Law School.  She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and four children.

    This week on “Story in the public Square,” Dell’Antonia says “the secret to being a happier parent is not to always put your kids first.”  “Kids who believe that they come first are actually pretty stressed out kids” because they believe their parents’ happiness depends on them.  She also encourages parents to embrace their adult lives even after having kids, promoting balance within the family.

    “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 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program 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. “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.

  • Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity with Jamie Metzl

    Air Dates: January 6-12, 2020

    The genetics revolution is already reshaping healthcare—and most people see in it the potential for healthier children, healthier adults, and less disease.  Dr. Jamie Metzl argues that the same technology making progress possible has the potential to saddle the world with a complex array of thorny ethical questions that will affect everything from human sexual reproduction to national security.

    Metzl is a technology and healthcare futurist, geopolitical expert, novelist, entrepreneur, media commentator, and Senior Fellow of the Atlantic Council.  He was appointed to the World Health Organization expert advisory committee on developing global standards for the governance and oversight of human genome editing in 2019.  He currently serves on the Advisory Council to Walmart’s Future of Retail Policy Lab and is a faculty member for Singularity University’s Exponential Medicine conference.  Metzl previously served in the U.S. National Security Council, State Department, Senate Foreign Relations Committee and as a Human Rights Officer for the United Nations in Cambodia.  He has also served as an election monitor in Afghanistan and the Philippines, advised the government of North Korea on the establishment of Special Economic Zones, and is the Honorary Ambassador to North America of the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy.  Metzl appears regularly on national and international media discussing Asian economic and political issues and his syndicated columns and other writing on Asian affairs, genetics, virtual reality, and other topics are featured regularly in publications around the world.  His most recent book is “Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity.”

    On this week’s episode of “Story in the Public Square,” Metzl emphasizes the need for guidelines that will govern human ability to manipulate the genome.  He says the “challenge of this moment” is to find a way to use “our values greatest ethical traditions to guide the application of our most powerful [genetic] technologies.”

    “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 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program 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. “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.

  • “Story in the Public Square” Will Broadcast on SiriusXM P.O.T.U.S. for the Fourth Consecutive Year

    Newport, R.I.—The Pell Center at Salve Regina University will broadcast new, weekly episodes of “Story in the Public Square” for its fourth year on satellite radio provider SiriusXM’s popular P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of the United States) channel 124 beginning January 11, 2020.

    Jim Ludes, Executive Director of the Pell Center at Salve Regina University, and G. Wayne Miller, senior staff writer at The Providence Journal, host “Story in the Public Square,” which features spirited conversations with scholars, diplomats, artists, and storytellers of all kinds, to help audiences better understand the stories that shape public life in the United States.

    “Since ‘Story in the Public Square’ launched in 2017, we’ve been blessed to find a home on SiriusXM P.O.T.U.S.,” said Ludes. “This will be our first presidential-election-year on the channel and we are excited to examine the narratives that will be central to the 2020 campaign.”

    “The heart of ‘Story in the Public Square,’ remains our guests,” said Miller. “Whether we’re talking with a mental health professional, an editorial cartoonist, a scholar, or a photographer, we are always amazed at the profound insights and artistry of our guests and grateful for the opportunity to host them.”

    “Story in the Public Square” airs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. & 6:30 p.m. ET, and Sundays at 4:30 a.m. & 11:30 p.m. ET on SiriusXM’s P.O.T.U.S. channel 124.  Episodes are also broadcast each week on public television stations across the United States.  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.  A full listing of the national television distribution, is available at this link.  

    Story in the Public Square” is a partnership between the Pell Center at Salve Regina University and The Providence Journal. The initiative aims to study, celebrate, and tell stories that matter.  SiriusXM P.O.T.U.S. channel 124 features non-partisan political talk radio. SiriusXM is the world’s largest radio company with more than 34 million subscribers, offering commercial-free music; premier sports talk and live events; comedy; news; exclusive talk and entertainment, and a wide-range of Latin music, sports, and talk programming.

    First published in 1829, The Providence Journal, now owned by Gannett, is the oldest continuously published daily newspaper in the United States.

    For more information about “Story in the Public Square,” please visit http://pellcenter.org/story-in-the-public-square/.

    Upcoming Episodes:

    #401 January 6, 2020

    JAMIE METZL

    The genetics revolution is already reshaping healthcare—and most people see in it the potential for healthier children, healthier adults, and less disease. Jamie Metzl argues that the same technology making progress possible has the potential to saddle the world with a complex array of thorny ethical questions that will affect everything from human sexual reproduction to national security.

    #402 January 13, 2020

    KJ DELL’ANTONIA

    Nothing saps the confidence of the uninitiated quite like the reality of actually becoming a parent.  KJ Dell’Antonia tells parents to cut themselves some slack and to worry less about the many hours each day that teenagers spend on screens.

    #403 January 20, 2020

    TOM NICHOLS

    In this era of “fake news,” disinformation, and social-media distortion and falsehood, professional expertise is under fire.  U.S. Naval War College Professor Tom Nichols, author of The Death of Expertise: The Campaign against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters, explains why these assaults on truth threaten American democracy.

    #404 January 27, 2020

    LINDA TROPP

    On many issues today, Americans are bitterly divided. Many politicians are unwilling to reach across the aisle, and fact-based attempts to bridge these gaps seem to fail. Linda Tropp, award-winning author and professor of social psychology at the University of Massachusetts, argues that face-to face connections and emotion, not data and statistics, can bring disparate groups together.

  • Convicted and Condemned with Keesha Middlemass

    Air Dates: December 30, 2019-January 5, 2020

    With less than 5 percent of the planet’s population, the United States houses 22 percent of the world’s prisoners. The challenges of navigating that system don’t end when the convicted felon completes his or her sentence.  Keesha Middlemass shines a light on the substantial barriers felons face when they try to reenter society.  

    Dr. Middlemass is a political science professor at Howard University.  She teaches courses in public policy and American Politics and conducts research on race, institutions, public policy, and marginalized populations, focussing specifically on studying prisoner reentry, the politics of punishment, and racial justice.  Her book, “Convicted & Condemned: The Politics and Policies of Prisoner Reentry” examines the public policies that create significant challenges for men and women reentering society after being convicted of a felony.  Middlemass is a member of the Racial Democracy, Crime and Justice Network (RDCJN), a former Andrew Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow on Race, Crime, and Justice at the Vera Institute of Justice in New York City, and a former American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow.

    On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” Middlemass describes the maze of legislative regulations that revoke, restrict, or retract public benefits for prisoners re-entering society.  She notes that the United States leads the world in incarceration rates with 1.1 million citizens in the prison system, saying, “[America] has a long history of using incarceration as a form of addressing anyone who violates social norms,” including addiction and mental illness. 

    “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 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program 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. “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.

     

  • Afghanistan Beyond the War with Adela Raz

    Air Dates: December 23-29, 2019

    Afghanistan is known to most Americans as the site of America’s longest war.  Since 2001, the United States has sent hundreds of thousands of its sons and daughters to fight extremists and hunt-down the perpetrators of 9/11.  But Afghanistan is more than the war. Ambassador Adela Raz has a unique perspective on her country’s rich history and insights about its future.

    Ambassador Raz is the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations.  She began her career with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in 2002 before arriving in the United States in 2004 to pursue higher education. In 2013, Ambassador Raz was appointed as the first female Deputy Spokesperson and Director of Communication for President Karzai in 2013 just after working with an international development organization in the United States.  She then became the Chief of Staff at the President’s Administrative Office in November 2014, and was appointed as Deputy Minister for Economic Cooperation at Ministry of Foreign Affairs in March 2016.

    On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” co-host Jim Ludes asks Raz if there was one thing about Afghanistan she would want the American public to know.  She describes how hopeful she is about Afghanistan’s future and she would “humbly ask [Americans] to not doubt [their] investment,” as American involvement in Afghanistan has brought a lot of good to the country. 

    “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 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program 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. “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.

  • 2019 Story of the Year: The Fracturing of America’s Public Narrative

    Air Dates: December 16-22, 2019

    Each year since 2013, the Pell Center has announced the public narrative that has had the biggest impact on public affairs in the previous twelve months, the “Story of the Year.”  

    This year, co-hosts Jim Ludes and G. Wayne Miller agreed the story of the year is not a single story, but a greater phenomenon: the fracturing of America’s public narrative. 

    The broad outlines of this story have been visible for decades.  In the aftermath of the Second World War, and at the height of newspaper circulation in the United States, there were three nightly outlets for national broadcast news.  Three respected, elder journalists who shaped the public’s consciousness even while they did their best to remain dispassionate.

    Michael Kennedy joins Ludes and Miller on this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” providing a sociological perspective on the current national narrative.  Kennedy is a professor of sociology and international and public affairs at Brown University and is the author of “Globalizing Knowledge: Intellectuals, Universities and Publics in Transformation.”  He has conducted extensive work with the sociology of public knowledge, global transformations, and cultural politics, focusing most recently on social movements, universities, and solidarity within and across nations.  Recent political events in the United States and the world have prompted Kennedy’s focus on cultural and public sociology.

    Kennedy describes the vastly conflicting narratives on impeachment that dominate the American political sphere today, saying, “…this impeachment is such a […] critical time for our country.” “The old stories we used to tell about what sociology is have changed in part because of the status of truth has changed.”

    “Today, we get our television news from entertainment companies, while many of us spend more time engaging with news on social media,” said Ludes.  “As a result, there is no longer a national narrative to help guide policy makers.  In addition, an agreed-upon set of facts has become increasingly more difficult to establish.  Look no further than the president’s impeachment defense which relies upon a set of talking points the President’s own former-Senior advisor on Russia warned—in sworn testimony before Congress—was nothing more than Russian disinformation.”

    In the absence of an “American” narrative we can all accept, the public retreats into partisan positions ready to do battle with—or worse, ostracize—anyone who sees the world differently. 

    “The prevalence of social media as a means for public debate only heightens the tensions between individuals in a divided society.” said Miller.  “As a rule, we digitally yell at each other, rather than listening and engaging.”

    In the mid-1920s, French essayist and philosopher Julien Benda looked at the political press of his time and warned that its zeal to stoke partisan passions was betraying the ideals of the West and setting the stage for another great war.

    Nearly 100 years later, we have balkanized the American narrative so grievously that in the past year we’ve seen the American Attorney General mischaracterize a two-year investigation of the President—effectively muting the investigation’s conclusions.  This past summer, the White House re-drew a National Hurricane Center map with a sharpie, and we now have an impeachment investigation in which the President’s allies dismiss the proceedings whose most damning witnesses have all worked at the pleasure of the president as a so called “deep-state conspiracy.”

    Self-government in a republic like ours requires deliberation and debate—even passionate debate.  But the success of self-government requires agreement about basic facts and a belief that the truth is knowable through reason. 

    Story in the Public Square” airs on Rhode Island PBS in Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts on Sundays at 11 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program airs Saturdays at 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. “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.

  • Bridging the Divide with Susan Rice

    Air Dates: December 9-15, 2019

    Politics, it’s often said, is a tough game.  But lost in the back and forth over policies are the lives of public servants who pay a very real toll for their service.  Ambassador Susan Rice knows that experience better than most.

    Rice served as the U.S. National Security Advisor under President Barak Obama from 2013 to 2017.  She was unanimously confirmed by the Senate as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in 2009, serving until 2013.  Rice was a senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution from 2002 to 2009, where she focused on U.S. foreign policy, the implications of global poverty, and transnational threats to security.  She also served on the National Security Council and as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs during President Bill Clinton’s second term.  After serving as National Security Advisor, Rice joined American University as a distinguished visiting research fellow in the School of International Service.

    On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” co-host Jim Ludes asks Rice if she considers the divisiveness in American politics a liability to national security.  “It’s huge,” Rice said, calling it “our greatest national security vulnerability right now.”  She says our adversaries clearly recognize these divisions and understand that they can weaken us by leveraging these divisions through the media, “[setting] Americans against one another and cause us to hate and distrust each other more than ever.”

    “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 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program 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. “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.

  • The Cost of Child Poverty with Lenette Azzi-Lessing

    Air Dates: December 2-8, 2019

    For generations, American politicians have promised reducing—or even eliminating—poverty as one of their goals.  In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson went so far as to declare an “unconditional war” on poverty.  Lenette Azzi-Lessing warns, however, that the rhetoric of fighting poverty has become a war on the poor with devastating consequences for America’s most vulnerable children.

    Azzi-Lessing is Clinical Professor of Social Work at Boston University and author of “Behind from the Start: How America’s War on the Poor is Harming Our Most Vulnerable Children.” She founded the nationally recognized Rhode Island Center for Children At-Risk, now named Children’s Friend, in 1989 to address the social service and behavioral health needs of highly vulnerable young children and their families.  Azzi-Lessing is a member of the Child Welfare League of America’s National Joint Commission, she has co-chaired the League’s Committee on Prevention, Protection, and Family Preservation, and has been an expert witness in federal court on behalf of children abused and neglected in the child protective system.  In 2017, Azzi-Lessing was named a Fulbright Specialist focused on higher education and training in nations across the globe.  She also helped develop Graduate Certificate Programs in Early Childhood Development and Family Support in South Africa with colleagues from the University of Fort Hare, East London, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa.

    On this week’s episode, Azzi-Lessing covers the social and financial costs of poverty, referencing a recent report by a special task force created by the National Academics of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. It posed the question: “what would it take to cut child poverty in the United States in half in a ten-year period?” She says, “the numbers aren’t low, it would cost 90 to 100 billion dollars, but 100 billion dollars is only 10 percent of the trillion dollars a year that child poverty costs us [annually].”

    “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 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program 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. “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.