Socrates Citation in Honor of Antonio G. Callari

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Eyeing the “WTF” button on Professor Callari’s jacket, a student smiles, giving him a perplexed look. Professor Callari responds, “Where’s The Fairness,” explaining that he got the button during a union rally organizing a campaign for better wages and work conditions. As a proud and vocal Marxist, Professor Callari has always been very open and, somehow, very cheerful while delivering scathing critiques of the capitalist system. His teaching, research, service and community activism all have been driven by a commitment to social justice, desire to create space for marginalized voices, and a deep compassion for others.

Not long after immigrating from Italy to the United States in 1968, Professor Callari graduated from City College of New York with a degree in economics, then went on to get his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Professor Callari began teaching at Franklin & Marshall in 1979, progressing steadily through the departmental ranks until earning the Sigmund M. and Mary B. Hyman professorship in 2002.

Over his 43-year career at F&M, Professor Callari has displayed seemingly boundless energy as an innovator and change-maker, playing a vital role in broadening opportunities for creative dissent at multiple levels of the institution. As a key architect of the College’s pluralist economics program, he developed the major’s Values and Distribution course and taught a wide range of electives over the course of his career, including Socialism, Film and Economics; Presidents and the U.S. Economy; and a popular course on urban economies. Professor Callari also has created multiple opportunities for innovative student research and community engagement. From 2005 to 2014, in collaboration with Professors Sean Flaherty and Linda Aleci, he operated the Local Economy Center, offering students opportunities to participate in innovative research on issues and concerns in the Lancaster community. In 2018, he joined the Inequality, Poverty, Power and Social Justice Initiative that Professor Eiman Zein-Elabdin launched to promote transdisciplinary study, dialogue and action addressing problems of socioeconomic injustices in the world at large.

As a Marxist scholar, Professor Callari has published a large volume of work, including two edited books and many articles in Rethinking Marxism, Review of Radical Political Economics, and Review of Social Economy. In community with other scholars, his work has led to a rethinking of the foundations of Marxist economics and encouraged new critiques of orthodox economics.

Professor Callari has applied his ample intellectual energies well beyond publishing his research, working continuously to transform his ideas into action. Having become active in political organizing in Lancaster during Jesse Jackson’s 1984 presidential campaign, Professor Callari eventually became chair of the Lancaster Rainbow Coalition. He went on to co-found Lancaster’s Community First Fund, an innovative Community Development Financial Institution, and has worked energetically with the Poor People’s Campaign to advance social justice.

There can be no doubt that Professor Callari’s legacy will continue to be honored both at F&M and in the broader Lancaster community for many years to come.