Richard J. F. Day

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Richard J. F. Day
Richard J F Day.png
Bornc. 1964 (age 53–54)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Era20th-century philosophy
RegionWestern Philosophy
SchoolContinental Philosophy, Anarchism, Critical Theory, Post-colonialism, Post-structuralism, Queer Theory
Main interests
Anarchism, Native American political theory, Anti-globalization, Feminist theory, Queer Theory, Post-colonialism, Hegemony
Notable ideas
Newest Social Movements, Affinity of affinities, Hegemony of Hegemonies

Richard J. F. Day (born c. 1964) is a Canadian political philosopher and sociologist. He is the undergraduate chairperson and professor in the department of global development at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada He was previously associate professor of sociology. He considers himself to be critically involved with the broader question of the articulation of social subjects with group identities such as those offered up by nations, states, and corporations. He is particularly interested in the possibilities for radical social change via the construction of alternative dual power communities and polities especially in situations of indigenous resistance, queer and feminist organizing and anti-globalization activism.[1]

Theoretical contributions[edit]

Richard Day's thesis which he prepared at Simon Fraser University was a study of ethnic identity and state regulation in Canada since the arrival of the Europeans. It used Lacanian and Foucauldian theory to analyze and critique the Canadian discourse on 'ethnic and racial diversity' as a public problem requiring rational-bureaucratic solutions. It was subsequently published as Multiculturalism and the History of Canadian Diversity.

In his book Gramsci is Dead, published in 2005, Day attacked the notion of hegemony and demonstrated its wide-ranging influence on activist movements internationally. He decries the hegemony of hegemony which he argues characterizes the left. The central premise of the hegemony of hegemony is "the assumption that effective social change can only be achieved simultaneously and en masse, across an entire national or supranational space".[2] He proposed an alternative model, finding its roots in the anarchist thought of German philosopher Gustav Landauer, which was based on the concept of affinity. Day uses the theory of affinity to explain the Newest Social Movements which he observes emerging as alternatives to the now old social movements (unions, political parties, etc.) and New Social Movements. He argues that the newest social movements are different from previous movements because they are using "non-universalizing, non-hierarchical, non-coercive relationships based on mutual aid and shared ethical commitments"[3] to achieve changes.

Day's current research focuses on relations of solidarity between dominant and marginalized identities, both between specific articulations of these (anarcha-feminism and anarcha-indigenism, for example) and between these two categories. He is also interested in the possibilities of the creation of a sustainable dual power network of Permanent Autonomous Zones within, but against the dominant order.

He is also a co-founder of an online journal: Affinities: A Journal of Radical Theory, Culture, and Action.[4]


  • "More than Straw Figures in Straw Houses: Toward a Revaluation of Critical Realism's Conception of Post-structuralist Theory, " in Jon Frauley and Frank Pearce (eds.), Critical Realism and the Social Sciences: Heterodox Elaborations (pp. 117–141). Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 2007.
  • "Anarchist and Indigenous Solidarity at the Six Nations Barricade," in New Socialist Magazine, Issue 58, 2006. [2]
  • "Setting up Shop in Nullity: Protest Aesthetics and the New 'Situationism'," in Review of Education, Pedagogy and Cultural Studies, April 2007 v. 29 n. 2, pp. 239–260.
  • Utopian Pedagogy: Radical Experiments Against Neoliberal Globalization. with Mark Coté and Grieg de Peuter. Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2007. ISBN 0-8020-8675-6.
  • Gramsci is Dead: Anarchist Currents in the Newest Social Movements. London, Pluto Press, 2005. ISBN 0-7453-2113-5.
  • "From hegemony to affinity," in Cultural Studies, September 2004 v. 18 n. 5, pp. 716–748.
  • "Anarchism, Indigenism, and Anti-Globalization in North American Social Movements," in DeriveApprodi, November 2003 (Italian translation), 2003.
  • "Can there be a postcolonial multiculturalism? A response to Ian Angus," in International Journal of Canadian Studies, Summer 2003.
  • "BC Land Claims, Liberal Multiculturalism, and the Specter of Aboriginal Nationhood," with T. Sadik, in BC Studies, Summer 2002.
  • "Who is this ‘we’ that gives the gift? Native American political theory and 'the Western tradition,'" in Critical Horizons v. 2 n. 2, The Ashworth Centre for Social Theory, University of Melbourne, Australia, pp. 173-201, 2001
  • "Ethics, Affinity, and the Coming Communities,” in Philosophy and Social Criticism, 27:1, pp. 21–38, 2001.
  • "The University as Anarcho-Community,” in I. Angus (ed) Anarcho-modernism: Essays in Honour of Jerry Zaslove, Vancouver: Talonbooks, pp. 333–340, 2001.
  • Multiculturalism and the History of Canadian Diversity. Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2000. ISBN 0-919301-61-4
  • "Constructing the Official Canadian: A Genealogy of the Mosaic Metaphor in State Policy Discourse," in Topia: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, no. 2, pp. 42–66, 1998.


  1. ^ Richard Day | Queen's Sociology
  2. ^ Gramsci is Dead, 2005: pp 8.
  3. ^ Gramsci is Dead, 2005: pp. 9.
  4. ^ [1]

External links[edit]