Featured Issue

  • 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 … Read More

  • 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 … Read More

  • 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 ... Read More
  • 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 … Read More

  • Blood Libel in an American Town: Antisemitism in the United States with Edward Berenson

    Air Dates: November 25-December 1, 2019 On September 22, 1928, a four-year-old girl named Barbara Griffiths disappeared in the woods near the small town of Massena, New York.  At some point in the panicked search that followed, someone speculated that the child may have been murdered by a Jewish resident of the community in a ritual sacrifice.  This was blood libel, a well-documented antisemitic slander common in Europe but new … Read More

  • A Tale of Four Worlds with Marina and David Ottaway

    Air Dates: November 18-24, 2019 Almost a decade ago, protests swept across North Africa and the Middle East, toppling some authoritarian leaders and threatening others.  Marina and David Ottaway argue that the “Arab Spring”—as the uprisings are popularly known—splintered the Arab region into four worlds with vastly different outcomes, consequences, and prospects.  Marina and David Ottaway are fellows in the Middle East program at the Wilson International Center for Scholars … Read More

  • Open Technological Innovation and Tomorrow’s Terrorists with Audrey Kurth Cronin

    Air Dates: November 11-17, 2019 After Alfred Nobel developed dynamite, his invention reshaped the world—literally.  From mining to infrastructure projects, dynamite proved essential to the building of the modern world.  But it also changed political violence—both on battlefields and in the streets where the first wave of modern terrorists adopted the explosive as a weapon of choice.  Audrey Kurth Cronin says we have work to do to manage the new … Read More

  • “Story in the Public Square” will Debut Fourth National Season on Public Television January 6, 2020

    Newport, R.I. – The two-time Telly Award-winning series Story in the Public Square will continue to be broadcast across the United States with the debut of its fourth national season beginning January 6, 2020, the series announced on Tuesday. The show has been in production since January 2017 on SiriusXM Satellite Radio and in southeastern New England from its flagship TV station, Rhode Island PBS.  Story in the Public Square … Read More

  • Pell Center Hosts Election Security Summit

    Newport, R.I. – The Pell Center hosted the second election security summit for Rhode Island (RI) Secretary of the State Nellie Gorbea on Friday, October 25th.  The event featured expert speakers from the RI Board of Elections, National Guard, RI State Police, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  RI Congressman Jim Langevin, Pell Center’s Executive Director Jim Ludes and Senior Fellow for Cyber Leadership Francesca Spidalieri also addressed state election … Read More

  • Opium: How an Ancient Flower Shaped and Poisoned Our World with Dr. John Halpern and David Blistein

    Air Dates: November 4-10, 2019 In 2017, opioid addiction claimed nearly 50,000 American lives—that’s as many Americans as were lost in the entire Vietnam War, and more than were lost to gun-shots and automobile accidents combined.  Dr. John Halpern and David Blistein explore the history of opium—from antiquity to the modern world—and describe a solution to the opioid crisis that blends an understanding of what works and what has failed, … Read More