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Episode 1: Identity representation in literature

Lydia Burleson and Kay Barrett, both PhD candidates in the English department at Stanford, talk about their respective journeys to Stanford and KHS, the life and challenges of bein
Text on red and blue background: Imagine A World

In this episode, Lydia Burleson and Kay Barrett, both PhD candidates in the English department at Stanford, talk about their respective journeys to Stanford and KHS, the life and challenges of being a PhD candidate, some literary hot takes, and so much more.

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Guests

Two female scholars, one seated and one standing

Kristen (Kay) Barrett (2022 cohort), pictured left, from Nashville, Tennessee, is a PhD candidate in English at Stanford. She graduated with highest honors from the University of Virginia as a distinguished major in English and a minor in drama. An aspiring English professor, Kay wants to affirm Black science fiction as a literary genre and found her own academic journal, publishing agency, and independent bookstore dedicated to these stories. 

Lydia Burleson (2022 cohort), pictured right, from Sulphur Springs, Texas, is a PhD candidate in English at Stanford. She graduated cum laude from Yale University with a bachelor’s degree in English and a nonfiction writing concentration. Her scholarship and writing push for a more inclusive social reality by understanding and representing marginal identity through literature. She aspires to be a professor-writer, using public humanities to share her research with the communities it aims to serve. 

Hosts

two men wearing imagine a world t-shirts seated on stairwell

Imagine A World is hosted by Willie Thompson, left, and Taylor Goss, right.

Taylor Goss (2021 cohort), from Lacassine, Louisiana, is pursuing an MA in music, science, and technology and an MPP in public policy at Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences. He graduated with college honors from Louisiana State University with bachelor's degrees in music and entrepreneurship. Taylor aspires to connect musicians and policymakers, using the arts to communicate societal needs and provoke policy change.

Willie Thompson (2022 cohort), from Griffin, Georgia, is pursuing a master's degree in business administration at Stanford Graduate School of Business. He graduated summa cum laude from Morehouse College with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a minor in Chinese Studies. He intends to create and contribute to organizations using the arts as a conduit for community building and intercultural education.

Imagine A World's theme music was composed and recorded by Taylor Goss. The podcast was originally conceived and led by Briana Mullen (2020 cohort), Taylor Goss, and Willie Thompson, along with Daniel Gajardo (2020 cohort) and Jordan Conger (2020 cohort).

Knight-Hennessy scholars represent a vast array of cultures, perspectives, and experiences. While we as an organization are committed to elevating their voices, the views expressed are those of the scholars, and not necessarily those of KHS.

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