After 10 months fighting acute myeloid leukemia, Erik Wright left us on January 23rd. (2019) at the age of 71. He left behind a huge legacy. In this blog we have collected together tributes from all over the world – extraordinary in their number and in their appreciation of Erik as a scholar, teacher, and colleague, but also as an engaged, multi-talented intellectual and generous human being.

During those last 10 months, with the help of his wife and constant companion Marcia, Erik lived as full a life as he possibly could, recorded in an extraordinary blog––where he reflects upon the meaning of life and death, work and play, love and generosity, family and friends, his relations with nurses and doctors, the spreading of his cancer, the stem-cell transplant, and much more.  The blog can be found here together with hundreds of comments. Haymarket Books will be publishing an edited version of the blog, Stardust to Stardust: Reflections on Living and Dying, July 2020.

Here are some other commemorations:

  • Festschrift at the Havens Wright Center, November 1-2, 2019.
  • There have been three memorials. You can click and watch the videos at Berkeley, at Madison, and at the American Sociological Association Meetings in New York.
  • The Institute for Breaching Experiments has released an album called E.O.W. – a musical interpretation of Erik’s book Envisioning Real Utopias. Here is a link to the release notes, with links to Spotify and other sources for listening.
  • Symposium on Erik’s latest book, How to be an Anticapitalist in the 21st Century. Sponsored by Politics and Society and the New School, September 26th, 2019. Audio and video of the event can be found here.
  • Conferences on Erik’s legacy in Barcelona, Coimbra and Porto Alegre.
  • Erik’s 4 decades at the Madison sociology department will be commemorated with a  dedicated Reading Room.
  • Graduate Student Prize, sponsored by the September Group.
  • Annual Memorial Lecture sponsored by the Department of Sociology at UC Berkeley. The first speaker will be Wendy Brown on January 27, 2020.
  • Critical Sociology has established an annual Distinguished Article Award.

As events to celebrate his life and work take form we will post them on this website. Together we will keep Erik’s spirit alive, continuing the conversations he has stimulated over the last half-century.

Michael Burawoy