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Photo courtesy of the author

Mike Davis

Photo courtesy of the author

Mike Davis (1946 - 2022) was a writer and political activist who joined the San Diego chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality in 1962 at age 16, and the struggle for racial and social equality remained the lodestar of his life. His City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles (1990) challenged reigning celebrations of the city from the perspectives of its lost radical past and insurrectionary future. His wide-ranging work married science, archival research, personal experience, and creative writing with razor-sharp critiques of empires and ruling classes. He embodied the Lannan vision of working at the intersection of art and social justice. Davis also helped develop the theory of the prison industrial complex. He was professor emeritus of creative writing at UC Riverside.

The Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize was awarded to Mike Davis for his life’s work as a public intellectual who encouraged critical analysis of society in the service of constructing an alternative, post-capitalist future in both theory and practice.

Prizes, Awards & Fellowships
  • 2007 Lannan Literary Award for Nonfiction
  • 2020 Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize