#CMRS2021 Conference

The sixth biennial CMRS conference will be held in the Southwest!

Join CMRS scholars, artists, activists, students, clinicians, and community members at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ, from February 26 – 28, 2021. We will gather under the theme of Ancestral Futurisms.


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 multiraciality, 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.

The 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.

Conference cover art by Favianna Rodriguez

keynote speaker

CMRS 2021 keynote speaker and performer will be Aisha Fukushima, the renowned Speaker, Educator, Vocalist and ‘RAPtivist’ (rap activist).

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 Call for Proposals below.

proposal submission

The submission portal is now open! To start entering and to submit your proposal, click on the button below. We are accepting proposals until April 1, 2020.


The conference will take place at Arizona State University, Tempe Campus: Memorial Union, 301 E. Orange St., Tempe, AZ 85281


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.

CMRS ambassadors – coming soon!

Keep an eye out for the announcement of a new role that you can apply for to contribute to the CMRS community, becoming a CMRS Ambassador.


Your support for the 2021 CMRS Conference can provide opportunities for ASU and the larger Arizona community to learn, engage, and collaborate with local, national, and international scholars, artists, activists, students, clinicians, and community organizations who are interested in addressing our changing demographics and building meaningful dialogue and action that speaks to our collective humanity and growing diversity of lived experiences.

In addition, your support will…

  • Improve accessibility by keeping conference registration costs low
  • Provide scholarships to multiracial students to assist with travel costs
  • Promote local multiracial artists and activists
  • Help multiracial students and scholars disseminate innovative research and projects

Click HERE to become a sponsor. We greatly appreciate your support!

CMRS2021Official Approved Logo
Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
February 26-28, 2021