• Alien Capital: Asian Racialization and the Logic of Settler Colonial Capitalism

    Pages: 256
    Illustrations: 29 illustrations
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
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  • Acknowledgments  ix

    Introduction. The New Jews: Settler Colonialism and the Personification of Capitalism  1

    1. Sex, Time, and the Transcontinental Railroad: Abstract Labor and the Queer Temporalities of History 2  41

    2. Unnatural Landscapes: Romantic Anticapitalism and Alien Degeneracy  73

    3. Japanese Internment and the Mutation of Labor  115

    4. The New Ninteteenth Century: Neoliberal Borders, the City, and the Logic of Settler Colonial Capitalism  151

    Epilogue. The Revenge of the Iron Chink  191

    Notes 199

    Bibliography  223

    Index  235

    Credits  243
  • "...expand[s] and broaden[s] the canon of Asian North American literature... Day’s Alien Capital enable[s] us to understand the complexities of racialization beyond colonial/victims, black/white, dominant/minor binaries... articulate, intelligent addition to Canadian theory and criticism."


  • "...expand[s] and broaden[s] the canon of Asian North American literature... Day’s Alien Capital enable[s] us to understand the complexities of racialization beyond colonial/victims, black/white, dominant/minor binaries... articulate, intelligent addition to Canadian theory and criticism."

  • "Through often unexpected and dazzling analyses, Iyko Day considers a transnational U.S.–Canada archive that explores how Asian immigrants came to represent the abstraction of capital, bringing to the fore a history of settler colonialism that is often ignored in accounts of Asian immigration and racialization. Alien Capital is sure to be a very important, influential, and widely read book."  — David L. Eng, author of The Feeling of Kinship: Queer Liberalism and the Racialization of Intimacy

    "Featuring elegant and erudite readings of an impressive variety of texts by Asian artists from the United States and Canada alongside brilliant theoretical analyses of settler colonialism and racial capital, Iyko Day's Alien Capital is an immensely important and innovative work. With groundbreaking and profound interventions, Day convincingly demonstrates that we cannot fully understand settler colonialism without considering Asian racialization."  — Grace Kyungwon Hong, author of Death beyond Disavowal: The Impossible Politics of Difference

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  • Description

    In Alien Capital Iyko Day retheorizes the history and logic of settler colonialism by examining its intersection with capitalism and the racialization of Asian immigrants to Canada and the United States. Day explores how the historical alignment of Asian bodies and labor with capital's abstract and negative dimensions became one of settler colonialism's foundational and defining features. This alignment allowed white settlers to gloss over and expunge their complicity with capitalist exploitation from their collective memory. Day reveals this process through an analysis of a diverse body of Asian North American literature and visual culture, including depictions of Chinese railroad labor in the 1880s, filmic and literary responses to Japanese internment in the 1940s, and more recent examinations of the relations between free trade, national borders, and migrant labor. In highlighting these artists' reworking and exposing of the economic modalities of Asian racialized labor, Day pushes beyond existing approaches to settler colonialism as a Native/settler binary to formulate it as a dynamic triangulation of Native, settler, and alien populations and positionalities.

    About The Author(s)

    Iyko Day is Associate Professor of English at Mount Holyoke College.
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