Richard J. F. Day

Richard J. F. Day


region = Western Philosophy
era = 20th-century philosophy
color = #B0C4DE
name = Richard J. F. Day
birth = c. birth year and age|1964 (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
school_tradition = Continental Philosophy, Anarchism, Critical Theory, Postanarchism, Post-colonialism, Post-structuralism, Queer Theory
main_interests = Anarchism, Native American political theory, Anti-globalization, Feminist theory, Queer Theory, Post-colonialism, Postanarchism, Hegemony
notable_ideas = Newest Social Movements, Affinity of affinities, Hegemony of Hegemonies
influences = Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Antonio Gramsci, Gilles Deleuze, Antonio Negri, Hakim Bey, Gustav Landauer, Lacan, Guy Debord

Richard J. F. Day (born c. 1964) is a Canadian political philosopher and sociologist. He is associate professor of sociology at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. 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 capitalist corporations. He is particularly interested in the possibilities for radical social change via the construction of alternative communities and polities especially in situations of indigenous resistance, queer and feminist organizing and anti-globalisation activism. [ [ Richard Day | Queen's Sociology ] ]


Theoretical contributions

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 Foucaultian 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". [Gramsci is Dead, 2005: pp 8.] 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" [Gramsci is Dead, 2005: pp. 9.] 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 anarcho-indigenism , for example) and between these two categories. He is also interested in the possibilities of the creation of a sustainable network of Permanent Autonomous Zones within, but against the dominant order.

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

Activist Projects

[Examples of such movements can be found at the Affinity Project's website (


*"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. []
* "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 0802086756.
* "Gramsci is Dead: Anarchist Currents in the Newest Social Movements." London, Pluto Press, 2005. ISBN 0745321135.
* "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 0919301614
* "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.


External links

* [ Richard Day] at the Queen's University website

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