Jenna Hanchey

Scholar | Writer | Artist
imagining and enacting better futures

all photography copyright Jenna Hanchey

About Me

“badass fairy”

I’m continually searching for radical futures, reflecting over the racial and colonial legacies of our pasts, and laboring to enact justice in the present. My academic work critically examines aid, development, and volunteer work in Africa. My creative work aims to open imaginative possibilities. I hail from Southwest Michigan, and am currently an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno. I will be starting as Assistant Professor of Rhetoric & Critical/Cultural Studies in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University in Fall 2022.

A graduate student once called me a “badass fairy.” I attempt to live up to the title.


Aid Media

I’ve written multiple articles about aid campaign media, particularly viral videos, and how even the organizations that attempt to portray African agency often do so in ways that are Westerncentric and reinforce coloniality.

NGOs in Tanzania

My first book, The Center Cannot Hold: Decolonial Possibility in the Collapse of a Tanzanian NGO, is under contract with Duke University Press. It examines how decolonial possibility that emerges from the collapse of normative aid operations and subjectivities.


I have begun conceptualizing a second book, tentatively titled Africanfuturism: Decolonial Dreamwork and Developmental Rebellion, that examines how Africanfuturist fiction and film imagines liberatory African futures that challenge, reinvent, and eschew Western logics of development.


The Dream Trainers

Short story on resistance to NGO aid in Africa published in a collection of critical researchers imagining liberatory futures.

Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, September 2021

Far From Home

Microfiction meditation on war.

Daily Science Fiction, September 2021

Like Any Other

The microfiction winner of Apex’s contest on the theme “void.”

Apex Patreon, September 2021

Old Friends, Across Galaxies and the Space Between

3rd place in Pete Wood’s NYE contest.

Stupefying Stories, December 2021

And more…



I teach graduate and undergraduate courses at the University of Nevada, Reno focused on racism, colonialism, difference, gender, and culture in communication.

Media Appearances

I have appeared in podcasts and video panels about dystopia and futurisms, race and campus climate, and the futures of feminism.


Audiobook Narration

I am currently moving from theatrical work to the world of audiobook narration and voice acting. Listen to my samples or hire me to narrate at ACX.com.

Acting and Directing

I am a singer, actor, and director. Links to my virtual performances can be found here.

For Further Information

See my academic profiles at The University of Nevada, Reno, Academia, or ResearchGate.

All of the photography from the website is my own. Here I’ve collected the featured images.

Contact Me

Mail Stop 0229
1664 N. Virginia Street
University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, NV 89519