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Many Minds

Jul 29, 2020

If you’re listening to this podcast, it’s a safe bet that you’re interested in minds. You probably have been for awhile. But what sparked it in you? What’s kept it going? For some folks it may have been something they learned in school. Perhaps it was a stray factoid. It could have been a museum visit, or a scientific finding they heard about on the radio.

But very often it seems that what sparks or stokes our interest in minds comes from elsewhere—from outside the classroom, from outside non-fiction writing, from outside science altogether. In this episode, we asked a group of creative folks to reflect on what got them thinking about minds. All our contributors are past participants in the Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute (or DISI)—and specifically in the storyteller program. This is a residency for creative folks working in any medium. So here’s the exact question we asked them:

“What is one work of fiction—movie, novel, short story, etc—that has kindled your interest in mind, cognition, and intelligence? This could be from childhood or college or just last week.”

Here are their answers. Enjoy!


A transcript of this episode is available here.


Contributor / work referenced:

MOsley WOtta / The Point (film)

Ada Brunstein / The Neapolitan Novels (book series)

Abeer Hoque / The Bluest Eye (book)

Angel Teng / 2001: A Space Odyssey (film)

Amey Zhang / Maniac (TV show)

Richa Rudola / Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (film)

Mallessa (Les) James / The Dictionary

Taylor Beck / The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (poem)

Boris Oicherman / The Weather Project (art installation)

Laura Sydell / When Things Fall Apart (book)


Many Minds is a project of the Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute (DISI) (, which is made possible by a generous grant from the Templeton World Charity Foundation to UCLA. It is hosted by Kensy Cooperrider, with creative support from DISI Directors Erica Cartmill and Jacob Foster, and Associate Director Hilda Loury. Our artwork is by Ben Oldroyd ( Our transcripts are created by Sarah Dopierala (

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