Predicting the future is hazardous business. Those who try to do it—from weather forecasters to technologists—have historically had a dismal track record. Humanists typically do not engage in future prediction, but they do think about what might be in store for humans and the planet we inhabit. They might interpret (or compose) utopian or dystopian fiction, or analyze historical cycles and trends, or consider the value of existing or novel ethical or religious systems, or trace the waxing and waning of linguistic structures and languages.

Humanists might also explore and analyze multiple narratives about the future, recognizing how human diversity and the variety of cultural pathways we inhabit affect and circumscribe future visions. In addition, humanists interact with scientific and social scientific data about the future—of social systems, Earth’s environment and climate and political movements—by analyzing how such knowledge is constructed and how it relates to imaginative or experiential evidence gleaned from history, literature, philosophy, popular culture and the arts.

Work on the study of futures takes place in humanities units and centers in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts and humanities-related units in Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences



The Center for Film, Media and Popular Culture explores the role film and media play in shaping popular culture, human values and global communications.
The Center for Imagination in the Borderlands aims to spark inquiry, action and reimagine what America’s borderlands can be. It is part of the humanities division of The College at ASU.
The Center for Science and the Imagination brings together diverse networks of people to imagine and create research-based visions of the future. We use storytelling, design, and other creative methods to explore scientific frontiers and emerging technologies.
The Center for the Study of Race and Democracy is the only organization in the State of Arizona and one of a very few organizations in the U.S. that offers citizens access to scholarly research, interdisciplinary study, discourse and debate and advocacy on cutting-edge issues related to race and democracy.
Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict houses an array of collaborative student programs and research initiatives that engage the complicated role of religion, for good and ill, across societies and cultures, including faculty seminars, conferences, publications and reports.
Department of English's mission is to study, create, and teach spoken, written, visual and digital communication practices and texts of every sort, ranging from the imaginative to those functioning in civic, social, personal, academic and professional communities, and to mentor others to do likewise.
The digital humanities are concerned with humanities questions through digital means.
The environmental humanities bring humanists together with social scientists and scientists to improve human wellbeing, promote justice, and protect earth’s life support systems.
Health Humanities Initiative addresses a new and growing interdisciplinary area committed to bringing the insights of humanities disciplines to healthcare research, training and policy-making.
Through the Institute for Humanities Research, humanities scholars collaborate with each other and with researchers across the university to address our most fundamental and challenging “big questions”:
Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics supports research and education that will guide and direct ethical action and will develop the next generation of moral actors.
Narrative Storytelling Initiative is dedicated to expanding the population of knowledgeable narrators and enhancing the quality and scale of their public engagement.
The New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences is the driving force behind the forward-thinking philosophy and culture at ASU's West campus, combining the benefits of a liberal arts education with a responsiveness to the demands of the 21st-century workforce.
Red Ink Indigenous Initiative is an interrelated set of campus, regional, national and international projects developed in collaboration with Indigenous communities.
At the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, we make the future – or, rather, the set of plausible futures that humanity has – a focus of our activities. We are planning now for the kinds of futures that we will want to inhabit.
At the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, we explore our diverse heritage, traditions, beliefs and history, and express their relevance through application in every day life.
The study of other languages and cultures has always been one of the most rewarding of human activities. However, in today’s increasingly global environment, intercultural and interdisciplinary communication and knowledge have unprecedented value.
Whether seeking ways to understand the impact of climate change or searching for solutions to deadly diseases, ASU School of Life Sciences is exploring the most pressing issues facing the Earth and its inhabitants.
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University serves as an incubator for humanities scholarship and research through an interdisciplinary lens.
Imagination is essential to the ability of individuals and societies to create, design and bring about the futures they want.