Soundings Podcast

As of 2023, approximately 144 million people in the U.S. and 464.7 million people worldwide listen to a podcast every month. But back in 2007 when the Stanford Storytelling Project began, podcasting wasn’t yet part of our vocabulary. Instead, we made audio stories and aired them online or on public radio. From 2007-2010, during the years when we were learning to love this medium from the creators at public radio shows like This American Life, Radiolab, and Radio Diaries, the Stanford Storytelling Project released student-produced audio stories under our Soundings feed. Beginning in 2011, SSP created State of the Human, our flagship (and now award-winning) podcast that features our very best student work. Our Soundings podcast feed has become the place where completed student work lives, and it includes our Braden grantee projects, the episodes produced in our Sound Stories and Stories to Save Our Planet courses. Often—particularly when students want to continue working on these projects beyond the scope of their courses or grants—these stories find their way into State of the Human as well. The stories below represent the Soundings stories released in those early pre-State of the Human years. You can find our full list of Soundings stories here.


Do you have a special someone in your life who does all the same things you do, but better? Are you nursing a grudge and need some vindication? On this week’s show we have epic college feuds, petty rivalries, sweet love affairs gone bitter, and the battling little voices in your own head. It’s stories of conflict, within and without. Animosity, axes to grind, enemies and nemeses, hosted by dynamic doppelgänger duo.

Host: Charlie Mintz and Dan Hirsch
Producers: Charlie Mintz and Dan Hirsch
Featured: Hal Mikelson, Carmen Gray, Emily Cox, Will Rogers, Angela Castellanos, Matt Larson, Jasmine Aarons, Laura Stokes, Martin Evans, Roland Greene, Tiffany James
Music: Lauchlan Casey

Release Date: 4 December 2008

Story 1: The Axe

At the core of all animosity, there is a story, usually a story of betrayal and deceit. When we remember the story, hatred crystallizes into something real. A legendary college rivalry tale has shaped Stanford’s relationship with it’s great nemesis across the Bay. One man re-tells the tale every year to keep the spirit (of animosity) alive.

Producers: Dan Hirsch

Featuring: Hal Mikelson

image via flickr

Story 2: Anyone can have a Nemesis

Storytelling producers take to the streets, asking strangers to tell their personal nemesis tales. Prop 8, parents, styrofoam, ambitious conservatives… we encountered an abundance of nemeses, including ones that push people into playing more heroic roles in their own lives.

image via flickr

Story 3: The Beguiled Romance

All humans are susceptible to a type of chemical warfare that assaults us at unsuspected and undesirable times. One student tells of an instinctual attraction that goes against her sense of principle and better judgement.

Producer: Dan Hirsch

Featuring: Jasmine Aarons

image via flickr

Story 4: Satan

One may think that the concept of Satan is as tried and true as the institution of Christianity. In this story, two professors provide a more historical take on our understanding of the Angel of Darkness.

Producer: Charlie Mintz

Featuring: Martin Evans and Laura Stokes

image via wikipedia

Story 5: Turning on yourself… and winning

In the end, you are your own worst enemy? The last story shows that we can inspire our inner hero to defeat our inner nemesis.

Featuring: Tiffany James

image via flickr