Iyko Day: Nuclear Colonialism and the Non-Sites of Accumulation

The Social Justice Institute
Noted Scholars Series presents:

Dr. Iyko Day
Associate Professor, Mount Holyoke College

“Nuclear Colonialism and the Non-Sites of Accumulation

November 14, 12-1pm
1099 Buchanan Tower
1873 East Mall, UBC


All events are free and open to the public. RSVP’s are not required to attend, only encouraged.


My talk explores ways in which nuclear colonialism designates Indigenous lands as peripheral sites of accumulation, making them available for what Traci Brynne Voyles calls “wastelanding.” By honing in on the dynamics of accumulation in uranium mining, I grapple with Rosa Luxembourg’s claim that capital accumulation relies on an imperial relationship between capitalist and non-capitalist environments.  I draw on her representation of non-capitalist sites in my analysis of shifting representations of uranium as an alternatively magical, deadly, or banal commodity, from the “vibranium” rich site of Wakanda in Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther to David Henningson’s Somba Ké: The Money Place, which examines the Dene Nation’s 2005 decision to reopen a uranium mine used to build the first atomic bombs.

Iyko Day is Associate Professor of English and Critical Social Thought at Mount Holyoke College and Co-Chair of the Five College Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program.  Her research focuses on Asian North American literature and visual culture; settler colonialism and racial capitalism; Marxian 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 Relationality for Temple University Press.