Deep Pasts to Deep Futures

As we look toward global futures, how might African perspectives such as Afrofuturism and Africanfuturism help us reframe our understanding of humanity and the times that we experience?  

Over the coming academic year the Future of Being Human initiative will be collaborating with others across ASU to explore how our deep pasts inform and impact our deep futures.

From our pre-human ancestors to our post-human descendants, this series explores time and space from African-centered, postcolonial, and Indigenous perspectives. Engaging with constructs such as temporalities, technologies, cosmologies, mythical universes, and magical realities, dynamic panels of interdisciplinary participants will convene, converse, debate, riff, and discuss while engaging in thoughtful play and activities to better understand what it means to be human, in the context of our relationship to time and its deep pasts and deep futures.  


OCTOBER 20, 2023 Time in Two Dimensions and the Future of Humanity


Jenna Hanchey

Jenna N. Hanchey uses decolonial and anti-racist theory to examine Western aid and development initiatives in Africa, and how such future trajectories are resisted and reimagined in the continent. Her research attends to the intersections of rhetoric, critical/cultural studies, African studies, Black feminisms, and critical development studies.


Isaac Joslin

Isaac Joslin grew up speaking French, first in Besançon, France, and later in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa. With a background in French and Continental philosophy he earned his PhD in 2010 from the university of Minnesota, focusing on colonial and postcolonial francophone African literatures, cinemas, and cultures. He has travelled for research to Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Rwanda, and Burundi, and has taught a variety of courses on Francophone literatures and cultures. Currently Assistant Professor of French at Arizona State University, his research interests include Francophone African literatures and cinemas, aesthetics and theories of representation, theories of cultural hybridity, gender studies, youth and childhood studies, diaspora studies, Afrofuturism, and pedagogical approaches for teaching African literatures and cultures. 


Yeukai Mlambo

Yeukai Mlambo is Executive Director of Africa Initiatives in Global Academic Initiatives at ASU. Originally from Zimbabwe and educated in South Africa and the United States, Yeukai has lived and worked in multiple African countries for over 30 years. Yeukai’s scholarly approach hinges on critical analysis, amplifying African voices, contextualizing phenomena within historical frameworks, and advocating for tangible societal change. Her scholarship is focused on transforming higher education leadership by emphasizing access, inclusivity, and equity for historically marginalized groups. Specifically, her research centers on pathways to enhance representation in STEM fields, investigating the recruitment, retention, and sustained success of underrepresented populations in higher education. Her academic interests span across transnational education, institutional development, youth transitions, education technology, and faculty development as they relate to sub-Saharan Africa.


Kathryn Ranhorn

Katie Ranhorn (she/her) works for and with local and descendant communities in Kenya and Tanzania to steward and document the deep history of human evolution. With a focus on technological change spanning over 3 million years, she currently leads the Kondoa Deep History Partnership, a field archaeology program in central Tanzania, and directs the Ancient Technology Lab, Deep History Lab, and Archaeological Science Lab at ASU’s Institute of Human Origins. She learned Swahili living in Dar es Salaam for several years and is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change.


Luke Boyle

Luke Boyle is a PhD student in the ASU Innovation and Global Development program, and focuses on urban innovation and sustainability in African cities



Header image: Photo by Nick Kharlanov on Unsplash