University of Wisconsin sociology professor Erik Olin Wright, known for his writings on inequality and “real utopias,” died Wednesday at Froedert Hospital in Milwaukee.
Olin stopped teaching last spring, when he learned he had acute myeloid leukemia, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
According to UW, Wright wrote 15 books and more than 100 research papers focused on inequality and alternatives to capitalism.
“To a much greater degree than most, his research was motivated by a fundamental desire to try to make the world a better place,” sociology department chair James Raymo said.
In response to Wright’s death, former students, colleagues and friends of his shared their thoughts about the scholar on Twitter with #EOWTaughtMe.
Some shared personal anecdotes with the former professor. Twitter user Wendy Li shared her memory of Wright’s annual Madison bike tour.
Here’s a photo from Erik’s 2017 Madison bike tour, at the Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Each year he would invite students & community members to bike around Madison with him, while he regaled us with historical and personal anecdotes. #EOWTaughtMe pic.twitter.com/1KtbDHRICV
— Wendy Y. Li (@wendyliy) January 25, 2019
Other users shared their lessons from Wright in academia. Twitter user Jesse Benn discussed what Wright taught him in sociology.
#EOWtaughtMe capitalism's likely overthrow won't come from antagonistic forces, but complementary ones. Capitalism largely emerged because for a time merchants & traders were helpful to feudalism. Eventually power tipped & feudalism crumbled (or reshaped itself).
— Jesse Benn (@JesseBenn) January 25, 2019