THE REAL UTOPIAS

PROJECT

 

Beginning in 1991, the late Erik Olin Wright sought to bring ideas and thinkers together to open a “serious discussion of alternatives to existing structures of power, privilege, and inequality.” From 1991 until his passing in 2019, Professor Wright organized frequent conferences through which he asked participants to go beyond the typical foci of the social science literature: the evaluation and theorization of social problems and proposals for marginal policy interventions. Rather, envisioning real utopias, as Professor Erik Olin Wright remarked, sought “specific proposals for the fundamental redesign of different arenas of social institutions.” Each conference featured an intensive discussion and debate that would conclude with a collection of essays around a topic; the results of these efforts would be published by Verso Books. Here at the University of Michigan, we seek to continue Erik Olin Wright's legacy.