Erik Olin Wright Prize

Erik Olin Wright (1947-2019) was an inspiring teacher, devoted colleague, astute critic and brilliant scholar in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison for 42 years.  His intellectual preoccupations ranged from the analysis of class to the study of real utopias. He engaged theories of the state, economic sociology, and social inequality, always motivated by an explicit commitment to social justice. In all these areas he made substantial contributions to the Marxist tradition as well as to sociology. 

The Erik Olin Wright prize ($1K) is awarded annually by the Havens Wright Center for Social Justice for a paper by a graduate or professional student that best exemplifies the concerns that animated Wright’s work. Its inaugural award will be made in 2022.

Eligible submissions can come from any of the social sciences, history, or philosophy, and any professional discipline. Two documents are required. 

  1. The student work to be considered. This can be no more than 15K words (excluding references but including footnotes). 
  2. A nominating letter from a faculty member familiar with the student’s work. 

Whether its parts are sent separately or together, the deadline for completed submissions is April 15 of the year of the award, and should be sent to  wrightprize@wisc.edu. The winner will be announced at the American Sociology Association annual meeting that same year. 


To contribute to the funding of the prize, please click on this link and under “Gift Options,” check the box “I’m making this gift ‘In Memory’ or ‘In Honor’ of a person or pet.” A box will appear at the right, where you will be asked to indicate the nature of your gift and enter the name of the tributee (Professor Erik Olin Wright).


Please check this page periodically for prize competition updates. All news will be posted here as it becomes available.