Review: I. Day's Alien Capital: Asian Racialization and the Logic of Settler Colonial Capitalism

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review


Iyko Day makes a compelling intervention in discussions of race, capital, and settler colonialism. Her book presents a theorization of the abstract economism of Asian racialization by examining how social differentiation functions as a destructive form of abstraction anchored by settler colonial ideologies of romantic anticapitalism. By engaging with capitalism’s abstraction of differentiated gendered and racialized labor in order to create value, Day’s project diverges from scholarship arguing that capitalism profits from labor via the production, rather than the abstraction, of racialized difference (Lowe 1996; Roediger 2008). Her book engages a rich multimedia archive and uses principal historical instances of Asian North American cultural production as theoretical texts to examine key racial policies since the 19th century: Chinese railroad labor in the 1880s, anti-Asian immigration restrictions; internment of Japanese civilians during World War II, and the neoliberalization of immigration policy in the late 1960s.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017


  • labor
  • Asian
  • alien
  • immigration
  • Canada
  • capitalism
  • settler colonialism


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