The First International Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference was held at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois in the USA on November 5-6, 2010. According to reports (sadly I could not make it because I’m too poor!) — all programs were packed and/or standing room only and provided a vibrant atmosphere for community-building, alliance-building, critical discussion and thought, and efforts to think and re-think racialization in the context of issues of identities, gender(s), sexualities, class, nationalities, allegiences, fissures, parallels, disjunctures, and their relation to geopolitics, dominant narratives and the trope of the self.
From a privileged standpoint, and especially in the United States and the global north, issues of race, racism and racialization are couched only in the realm of identity and access to higher privilege, a sort of normalization of the current world system. The question of social justice was raised by certain keynote speakers and others within various presentations and discussions, asking people to think about how the creation and process of racialization may repeat and maintain the current systems of domination, in the world. How can a ‘mixed race pedagogy’ begin to address and actually begin and thoroughly intervene into the maintance of current traumas, violations, genocide, and invisiblization that passes for security, comfort, safety, and nation along with a privileging of being ‘mixed race’ and or monoracial? How does ‘race’ and the process of creating racial categories and re-ifying ‘race,’ carry the impetus through which racisms could be practiced in our lives and between communities and nations? How does NOT speaking about race also create further demarcations that make racism ‘normal’ and ‘tragic’ and ‘sad’ and ‘natural,’ thus portraying it as an aspect of life that has nothing to do with our own realities and/or ignorance and refusal? How can these dynamics be shifted?
Congratulations to the conference organizers: Camilla Fojas, Wei-Ming Dariotis and Laura Kina, for pulling off what I gather, was a highly successful and promising event that we hope will become an annual event!!!!
More information can be seen here:
Excellent reflection on the conference by Laura Kina, one of the organizers of this conference: