In this episode, we’re going to think about death. All things must come to an end, but that does not mean death is all ending. We ask — what can death teach us about life?
The actual name of Stanford University is Leland Stanford, Jr. University after a boy who died of typhoid at 15. After Leland Jr. died, his parents, Jane and Leland Sr., built this university to honor him. Lecturer Jake Warga gives campus tours – ghost tours – to remind us that even if Leland Jr. is dead, Stanford’s history isn’t.
Featuring: Jake Warga
Producers: Nikhil Raghuraman, Mike Mahowald, and Warren Christopher
Michelle Chang drives around the country hosting “death cafes,” gatherings where strangers come together and talk openly about death. At death cafes, people confront the reality of dying and in doing so, make meaning of their lives.
Producer: Will Shan
Claudia Biçen, a San Francisco artist, interviewed nine hospice patients about their experiences of dying. She then created larger than life-size portraits of each patient, and on each person’s clothing, wrote out the test of their interview. At exhibitions, Biçen played audio clips of the interviews, so you can actually hear the voice of the person you’re seeing. She called her project “Thoughts in Passing.”
Featuring: Claudia Biçen
Producer: Aparna Verma
Dia De Los Muertos
We go to San Francisco for the annual Day fo the Dead parade, a tradition that can be traced back to the Aztecs. It’s a time when families come together to celebrate ancestors and loved ones who have passed away, prompting us to ask what we can learn about life through death.
Producers: Regina Kong, Lena Lee, and Isabella Tilley