Iyko Day

  • Elizabeth C. Small Professor of English
  • Chair of Critical Social Thought and English
Iyko Day

Iyko Day is Elizabeth C. Small Professor of English and Critical Social Thought at Mount Holyoke College and Faculty Member in the Five College Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program. Her research focuses on Asian North American literature and visual culture; settler colonialism and racial capitalism; Marxist theory and queer of color critique. She is the author of Alien Capital: Asian Racialization and the Logic of Settler Colonial Capitalism (Duke, 2016) and she co-edits the book series Critical Race, Indigeneity, and Relationalityfor Temple University Press. Her current projects examine the cultures of global Sinophobia; nuclear colonialism in North America, Africa, and Asia; and the aesthetics of racial capitalism.

Areas of Expertise

Asian American Studies, Critical Ethnic Studies, Marxist Theory, Racial Capitalism, Settler Colonial Studies, Queer of Color Critique


  • Ph.D., M.A., University of California, Berkeley
  • M.A., Dalhousie University
  • B.A., University of Calgary


Recent Campus News

Iyko Day, associate professor of English at Mount Holyoke, comments on the marginalization of Chinese immigrants and the spa shooting that targeted Asians.

Iyko Day, Mount Holyoke associate professor of English, talks about anti-Asian hate in America on NEPM’s Connecting Point.

Mount Holyoke professor Iyko Day argues that the rise in anti-Asian sentiment is fueled by both current leadership and capitalist principles.

Recent Grants

Invited Asian American Fellow at the Asian American Center at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The Fellowship is for six months.

Was invited to participate as the Leslie Center William H. Morton Distinguished Senior Fellow in Fall 2020 Humanities Institute on Transnational and Decolonial Humanities: U.S. Ethnic Studies and Its Global Other at Dartmouth College Leslie Center for the Humanities.

Recent Publications

Day I. (2022). “Nuclear Antipolitics and the Queer Art of Logistical Failure.” Colonial Racial Capitalism. Susan Koshy, Lisa Cacho, Jodi A. Byrd, Brian Jordan Jefferson (Eds). Durham: Duke University Press.

Day, I. (2022) “Eco-criticism and Primitive Accumulation in Indigenous Studies.” After Marx: Literary criticism and the critique of value. C. Lye and C. Nealon (Eds). London: Cambridge University Press.

Day, I. (2021). Afro-feminism before Afropessimism: Meditations on Gender and Ontology. Antiblackness. Eds. Moon-Kie Jung and João H. Costa Vargas. Durham: Duke University Press, 60-81.

Day, I (2021). Exclusion Acts: Iyko Day on Asian Hate Through the Prism of Anti-Blackness. Artforum May 13, 2021.

Day, I. (2021). On Immanence and Indeterminacy: Black Feminism and Settler Colonialism. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 39(1), 3-8.

Recent Honors

Invited Speaker, “Nuclear Antipolitics and the Queer Art of Logistical Failure.” Geography Department Speaker Series, Rutgers University, April 8, 2022.

Invited Speaker, “Nuclear Antipolitics and the Queer Art of Logistical Failure.” Critical Theory Workshop, Institute for Critical Theory, Duke University. February 25, 2022.

Invited Speaker, Dialogue with Minh Vu on Anti-Asian Racism, Asian American Studies, and Alien Capital. Asian American Cultural Center, Yale University, March 15, 2022. 

Invited Speaker, “Reordering Hiroshima: Uranium Extraction and Indigenous Abandonment.” Asian American and Global Asian Studies Speaker Series. Sponsored by the English Department, University of Chicago. Livestreamed January 19, 2022.

Jan Cohn Keynote Lecture, “Nuclear Antipolitics and the Queer Art of Logistical Failure.” American Studies, Trinity College, March 10, 2022. 

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