Ancestral Futurisms:
Embodying Multiracialities Past, Present, and Future

The issue of time has long been debated in mixed-race studies. Racist histories of anti-intermixture, anti-miscegenation, and the illegality--and at times, the selective acceptance--of interracial marriage and unions are not simply components of our collective past but continue to motivate cultural producers, theorists, and community organizers to imagine more just futures. For those of us who think, teach, and organize around multiplicity, the issue of time remains an important one to consider. The 6th Critical Mixed Race Studies conference listens to the past as it gathers under the theme "Ancestral Futurisms" in order to bind alternative histories of multiraciality with their reimagined futures. In doing so, we concentrate on the embodiment of multiplicity and the pursuit of social justice. By challenging past conceptions of multiraciality dictated by white supremacy, we seek to decolonize the politics of multiracialism by producing new practices and radical hope. The goal of our convening is to build and imagine intersectional counterspaces that foster community and collective action among artists, community members, students, clinicians, and academics invested in the critical field of mixed race studies. By moving the conference to Arizona, we seek to engage the Southwest borderlands as an Indigenous space that has been contested through migrations and racial encounters. 

Association's 2021 meeting takes seriously the location of the conference. Arizona is a borderland state that is home to twenty-two federally recognized tribes. We consider the borderlands as both an Indigenous and multiracial space that has historically and continues to be occupied, contested, and negotiated, while remaining a geopolitical site of converging and intersecting spaces of cultural history, geography and identity. The US/Mexico borderlands are not only a geographic repository which holds the non-linear and overlapping violences of settler colonialism, war and imperialism, and slavery, but endures as a sensorial point of encounter where racialized, gendered, and differently abled bodies meet. On the one hand, differently racialized groups have historically been, to varying degrees, complicit in one another's oppression. Yet, the borderlands have also been the site where people have come together to envision and enact alternative modes of survival. As embodied borderlands, how have/can multiracial identity formations expose, challenge–or unwittingly get caught up in–white supremacy steeped in histories of anti-Indigeneity, anti-immigration, and anti-Blackness? In other words, what does decolonizing multiraciality look like? Gathering at Arizona State University allows us to consider the past, present, and future of mestizaje and racial mixture. As such, we look to how ancestral knowledge informs how we both experience and reimagine identities and futures that are impacted by space and place. We aim to pay particular attention to intergenerational connections and ways of knowing rooted in Indigenous perspectives.

Call For Proposals

CMRS welcomes submissions from cultural workers, community members, artists, activists, students and scholars from all fields. We invite individual paper presentations, panels, roundtables, workshops (solution-based items), and posters that address the conference theme in a broad sense. Presentation formats may be varied and diverse, and we welcome proposals that involve poetry, visual art, storytelling, and other non-academic formats. Download the complete Call for Proposals below.

CMRS CFP complete.pdf

Ambassadors Program

The CMRS Ambassador Program is a self-motivated community of graduate students and exceptional undergraduate students that will create content and buzz leading up to and around the CMRS 2021 Conference. A CMRS Ambassador will contribute to the CMRS community in various ways. Over the course of the year a CMRS Ambassador will participate in a digital engagement activity and an in-person activity at the conference. There is no correct way to be a CMRS Ambassador. Its benefit is a network of other students engaged in critical mixed race studies with the visibility of your own work on an international platform.

With that said, we encourage the endorsement of a faculty mentor/advisor at your institution in order to facilitate the interaction outside of the conference itself. They will approve of your involvement in the program and also advocate for the travel stipend to attend the conference per your involvement as an ambassador. Below is the application with some information we need from you. Feel free to contact Kaleb Germinaro,, for any questions/concerns.

Due Date: May 1, 2020 @ 11:59 PM PDT (May 2, 2020 @ 6:59 AM GMT)


Keynote Speaker

The 2021 CMRS keynote speaker and performer will be Aisha Fukushima.

Aisha Fukushima is a public speaker, educator, singer, and 'RAPtivist' (rap activist). RAPtivism is a global hip hop project spanning 10 countries and four continents, highlighting the ways culture can contribute to universal efforts for freedom and justice by challenging apathy with awareness, ignorance with intelligence, and oppression with expression.

As a leader of the 'RAPtivism' project, Fukushima has engaged in hip hop communities across the United States and from France to Morocco, Kazakhstan, Japan, Germany, England, South Africa, Senegal, India, Denmark and beyond.

As a public speaker, Fukushima combines the art of performance and lecture. In her speeches she links themes such as hip hop, global citizenship, youth engagement and activism in a way that is accessible to audiences of any age and background.


A hotel group rate for CMRS attendees is available at the Residence Inn Tempe Downtown/University at 510 South Forest Avenue Tempe, Arizona 85281. Single/double guest rooms are available for $239 USD per night. Click HERE to book your group rate for Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference. Be sure to book before Thursday, February 4, 2021.

Conference Location

Memorial Union, 301 E. Orange St., Tempe, AZ 85281

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Using the event app, attendees can:
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