The conference will honor, remember, and critically situate the acclaimed New York writer Ellen Willis (1941-2006) and her work across politics, gender, and popular culture, with a special attention to her unique contribution to intellectual history within the fields of music journalism and feminist cultural criticism.

The conference is free and open to the public.

Monday, January 23, 2012

We are proud to announce that Out of the Vinyl Deeps: Ellen Willis on Rock Music has been nominated for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle award for criticism.

We had a huge outpouring of press for the book (available at Ellen's Tumblr page) and are thrilled to know that has been in the hands of many. The National Book Award nomination means more people will get to know Ellen's work, and we are excited for that.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Thank you!

The conference was a tremendous success. We thank all the participants, attendees, the NYU support staff, and our sponsors for helping make one heavy, inspiring, and uplifting day of talk on Ellen Willis's life and writing.

We will post images + videos as they become available. Please send images you took of the conference to ellenwillis2011 at gmail dot com, and include the photo credit and we will post them here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April 30 Conference Schedule

Join us for Sex, Hope, & Rock 'n' Roll: The Writings of Ellen Willis
Saturday, April 30 9:30am-5pm
Conference location: Tishman Auditorium, 40 Washington Square South
RSVPs are closed at this time, please plan to be at the venue at 9:30am for 10am launch.
Non-registered guests, please have patience while we attempt to find seating for you.
Note: No refreshments will be served due to venue specs, so please bring coffee, water, soda and snacks

Opening remarks and thanks: Conference organizers

**Karen Durbin, reading of one piece + remembrance**

Willis's Work in Context: Culture, Politics, History (10 a.m. -11:30 a.m.)
A discussion of Willis's writing in terms of social history, the culture wars, feminism, and the left.


Stanley Aronowitz (CUNY Graduate Center)
Daphne Brooks (Princeton University)
Michael Bérubé (Penn State University)
Scott McLemee (National Book Critics Circle Board of Directors)

Moderated by Susie Linfield, New York University

** Donna Gaines, reading of one piece + remembrance**

**Richard Goldstein, reading of one piece + remembrance**

Ellen Willis and the Cultural Conversation (12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.)
Ellen Willis’s work enabled and inspired a wide range of cultural responses, within as well as among the spheres of academia, journalism, music, and activism. This panel will hear from figures from these fields to explore Ellen as a catalyst for a new kind of cultural conversation, considering how—as a writer, teacher, and role model—she helped to make possible what it is that they do.


Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill, Le Tigre)
Ann Powers (NPR Music)
Joe Levy (Maxim)
Kandia Crazy Horse

Moderated by Devon Powers, Drexel University

Lunch 1:30-3pm

** Robert Christgau, reading of one piece + remembrance **

** Georgia Christgau, reading of one piece + remembrance **

The legacy of Willis in the 21st century (3:30 p.m. -5 p.m.)
A discussion on music writing and the journalism industry, then and now.


Evie Nagy (Billboard Pro)
Daphne Carr (Columbia University)
Rob Sheffield (Rolling Stone)
Alex Ross (New Yorker)
Irin Carmon (

Moderated by Nona Willis Aronowitz, NPR, author, Girldrive

Press for Out of the Vinyl Deeps/Sex, Hope, & Rock 'n' Roll

"Ellen Willis, Anthologized," in the Village Voice, Maura Johnson

"****," Rolling Stone, Rob Sheffield

"Rock, She Wrote" in New York Press, Jesse Sposato

Why We Fight #13: The Context of No Context, on Pitchfork, Nitsuh Abebe

"Like a Rolling Stone," Inside Higher Ed, Scott MacLemee

"(Original) Sound and Vision" KEXP blog, Chris Estey

Thursday, March 31, 2011

RSVP for the conference!

Attention Ellen Willis lovers: The official registration page for the "Sex, Hope & Rock n' Roll" conference is now up on NYU's website.

The day is free but space is limited, so you really do have to register. Spread the word, see you there!