Fisher Center Symposium Remembers Wright – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Fisher Center Symposium Remembers Wright

In a special symposium organized by the Fisher Center for the Study of Gender and Justice, HWS faculty will reflect on the work of prominent and influential political sociologist Erik Olin Wright, who passed away earlier this year.

On Wednesday, Feb. 27, Assistant Professor of Sociology Ervin Kosta, Associate Professor of Sociology Renee Monson, Professor of Political Science David Ost and Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science Rene Rojas will discuss Wright’s life, ideas and legacy. The symposium, “Class, Socialism, and the University,” will highlight Wright’s ongoing importance for students and scholars who seek to use the most rigorous tools of social science for the concrete realization of social justice.

The symposium will begin at 4:45 p.m. in the Fisher Center, Demarest Hall Room 212. Refreshments will be served.

A longtime professor at the University of Wisconsin, Wright was one of the most important Marxist critical thinkers of the past 50 years. Rejecting any dogma, he scientifically tested Marxist propositions in the real world, and in this way developed an innovative theory of class. Starting from universal principles such as freedom and democracy, Wright elaborated a compelling critique of market societies. In recent years, his “Real Utopias” project sought to show how emancipatory solutions might be realized in a capitalist world — a strategy he called “eroding capitalism” rather than “smashing” it.

The Fisher Center celebrates its 20th anniversary throughout the 2018-19 academic year with the theme “On the Move,” hosting artists, scholars, authors and activists to examine contemporary concerns surrounding mobility, movements and migration. In October, keynote speaker Angela Davis addressed themes for the future of feminism.

Endowed with a $1 million gift from Emily and the late Richard Fisher, whose son Alexander graduated from Hobart College in 1993, the Fisher Center was inaugurated in October 1998 with an event titled “Engendering the Future: Educating Women, Educating Men, Educating Women and Men,” featuring noted experts Carol Gilligan, renowned feminist, psychologist and professor; and Michael Kimmel, author and editor of many influential books on the topic of masculinity.

Since then, the Fisher Center has hosted nearly a dozen events each year, bringing together faculty, students and experts in gender-related fields in the arts, humanities, and social and natural sciences to foster mutual understanding and social justice in contemporary society. Reflecting the intersection of the Colleges’ coordinate history and trends in the study of gender throughout academe, the Fisher Center builds upon the Colleges’ long-held commitment to interdisciplinary liberal arts education.