We can’t live without stories, so today on State of the Human, we’re investigating what stories do to us and for us. When are we in control of our story? When does our story control us?  We explore these questions with four stories. First, a woman is asked to come up with a story that will create life. Then, Buffalo Bill creates another kind of story: the American cowboy. Next, a cancer patient finds a new story. After this, children go beyond telling stories, and become them. Finally, two children look into strangers’ houses and see stories.

Hosts/Producers: Christy Hartman, Charlie Mintz

Featuring: Nina Foushee, Richard White, Jess Peterson, Terri Wingham, Beth Wise, Jackson Roach, Tom Kealey

Release Date: 20 November 2013


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Intro Story: A Tale of Two Stories

State of the Human Producer Nina Foushee was asked to tell a story to change someone’s life. What she did offers a lesson on the uses of storytelling.

Producers: Christy Hartman, Charlie Mintz

Featuring: Nina Foushee

Music: Los AmparitoPodington BearThiaz ItchJared BaloghPlurabelleRy-Man

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Story 1: Consider Eating Dust: A Cowboy Tale

You know the story of the cowboy, right? — the All-American Badass, the guy who does what he wants. Or do you? Stanford student Jess Peterson investigated. And the cowboy he found is very different.

Producer: Jess Peterson

Featuring: Richard White

Music: Alex Cebe, Mason Bayne, Blue Suede Through

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Story 2: A Fresh Chapter

Sometimes we fall into stories we don’t like. When that happens, sometimes the only thing that can pull us out is another story.


Producers: Christy Hartman


Featuring: Terri Wingham

Music: Igor KluchnikovArgasikThe FishermanDan Warren

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Story 3: Fight, Flight, and Storytelling

State of the Human Producer Jackson Roach visited Stanford’s Bing Nursery School to discover what we can learn from the stories children tell.


Producers: Jackson Roach, Natacha Ruck, Charlie Mintz

Featuring: Beth Wise, Jackson Roach, children from Bing Nursery School

Music: Thiaz Itch, Kevin Macleod, BOPD, Revolution Void

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Story 4: Nobody

Tom Kealey tells us a story about what happens to two teenagers when they choose to see the stories all around them.

Producer: Rachel Hamburg

Author: Tom Kealey

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