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.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Conference bios

Stanley Aronowitz is a veteran organizer, author, speaker, and Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center. He studies labor, cultural studies, social movements, science and technology, education and social theory. He is author or editor of twenty three books, including Just Around Corner, Roll Over Beethoven, How Class Works, The Jobless Future, and False Promises. He has published more than two hundred articles and reviews in publications such as Harvard Educational Review, Social Policy, The Nation, and The American Journal of Sociology. In 2002, he ran for New York State governor on the Green Party ticket.

Michael Bérubé is the Paterno Family Professor in Literature at Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of six books to date, including Life As We Know It, Public Access, and Rhetorical Occasions: Essays on Humans and the Humanities. Bérubé has written over a hundred and fifty essays for a wide variety of academic journals such as American Quarterly, the Yale Journal of Criticism, and Social Text, as well as more popular venues such as Harper's, the New Yorker, Dissent, The New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, and the Nation. Life As We Know It was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year for 1996 and was chosen as one of the best books of the year (on a list of seven) by Maureen Corrigan of National Public Radio.

Daphne Brooks
is professor of English and African-American Studies at Princeton University where she teaches courses on African-American literature and culture, performance studies, critical gender studies, and popular music culture. She is the author of two books: Bodies in Dissent: Spectacular Performances of Race and Freedom, 1850-1910 (Durham, NC: Duke UP) and Jeff Buckley's Grace (New York: Continuum, 2005). Brooks is currently working on a new book entitled Subterranean Blues: Black Women and Sound Subcultures--from Minstrelsy through the New Millennium (Harvard University Press, forthcoming). She is the author of numerous articles on race, gender, performance and popular music culture

Irin Carmon is a writer for From 2006-2009, she was a media reporter for Women’s Wear Daily. Before that, she was a freelance journalist and columnist for The Boston Globe, where her column on student travel, Taking Off, appeared regularly for over 3 years. She also reported for The Globe’s Jerusalem Bureau. She began writing music and feature articles for The Village Voice in 2001, at the age of17 . She has also written and/or reported for the Anniston (Ala.) Star, The Buenos Aires Herald, The New York Times, Newsweek, and Ms. Magazine.

Daphne Carr is a writer, editor, and scholar who lives in New York City. She is the series editor of Best Music Writing (Da Capo 2006-present), author of Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine (Continuum 2011), and co-writer of the afterward for Out of the Vinyl Deeps: Ellen Willis On Rock Music (U. of Minnesota Press, 2011). She is a PhD candidate in ethnomusicology at Columbia University, editor in chief of the scholarly journal Current Musicology, and a certificate candidate for the Harriman Institute and the Institute for Research on Women and Gender.

Georgia Christgau teaches English at a public high school in Long Island City, New York. She's worked as an editor, rock critic, journalist and teaching mentor. She frequently presents at the EMP Pop Conference.

Robert Christgau’s long-running Consumer Guide column appears monthly at and his Rock & Roll & column at Barnes & Noble Review. He is also a critic at NPR's All Things Considered. He teaches at NYU's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music and has published five books based on his journalism. He keynoted the first EMP Pop Conference and has spoken at every subsequent edition.

Karen Durbin is a film critic at Elle Magazine and the former editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. She has written for many publications including The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Harper’s Magazine.

Donna Gaines is a journalist and sociologist who has written for Rolling Stone, MS, the Village Voice, Spin, Newsday and Salon. Her work has been published in underground fanzines, numerous trade and scholarly collections, professional journals and textbooks. Subjects have included music, tattoos, youth, guns, pornography, TV talk shows, suburbia, spirituality, gender culture, technology and intergenerational love. Gaines has a Ph.D. in Sociology, and a Masters degree in Social Work. An international expert on youth violence and culture; her first book, Teenage Wasteland: Suburbia's Dead End Kids, was published by Pantheon Books in 1991. Rolling Stone declared Teenage Wasteland "the best book on youth culture." Gaines' second book, A Misfit’s Manifesto: The Sociological Memoir of a Rock & Roll Heart was published by Rutgers University Press in 2007.

Richard Goldstein is a New York based social and cultural critic who writes about theintersection of politics, culture, and sexuality. He wrote for The Village Voice for 1966 until 2004, eventually becoming executive editor. He is the author of several books including The Poetry of Rock, Goldstein's Greatest Hits, Reporting the Counterculture, and The Attack Queers. He is the winner of the 2001 GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination) columnist of the year award.

Kathleen Hanna is a New York City-based artist best known for her groundbreaking performances as the singer of the seminal 90's punk band, Bikini Kill and her more recent, highly acclaimed multimedia group Le Tigre. She was a pivotal figure in what became known as 'Riot Grrrl', a feminist movement that took place within the underground music scene between 1990-1996. She is currently gearing up for the release of a performance-based documentary called Le Tigre: On Tour, writing a new album and doing work surround the recent donation of her papers to the Fales Archive at NYU.

Joe Levy is the editor-in chief of Maxim magazine. Before that, he was the executive editor of Rolling Stone, then became the editor of Blender magazine in 2004 until it folded in 2009. Levy has also been an editor at Details, the Village Voice and Spin. He is an adjunct at NYU’s Clive Davis School of Recorded Music and is the co-editor of The Rolling Stone Interviews (Back Bay Books).

Susie Linfield is Director of New York University Journalism Institute’s Cultural Reporting & Criticism Program. She writes about culture and politics for publications including ArtNews, The Boston Review, Dissent, Newsday, The Nation, The New York Times, and The New Yorker. She has also served as the arts editor of The Washington Post, the deputy editor of The Village Voice, and the editor-in-chief of American Film.

Scott McLemee is an essayist, critic, and blogger. In 2008, he began a three-year term on the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle. In 2005, he helped start the online news journal Inside Higher Ed, where he serves as Essayist at Large, writing a weekly column called Intellectual Affairs. His reviews, essays, and interviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Nation, Newsday, Bookforum, The Common Review, and numerous other publications. In 2004, he received the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle.

Joan Morgan is an award-winning journalist and author and a provocative cultural critic. She was the Executive Editor of Essence magazine, where she joined the staff as an editor-at-large in January 2000. She began her professional writing career freelancing for The Village Voice. Her first article, "The Pro-Rape Culture," explored the issues of race and gender in the case of the Central Park jogger. Morgan's article won an award from the New York Association of Black Journalists. A staff writer at Vibe magazine for three years, she has also written extensively about music and gender issues for Madison, Interview, MS, More, and Spin magazine, where she was contributing editor and columnist. Joan Morgan is the author of When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip-Hop Feminist Breaks It Down.

Evie Nagy is the editor of Billboard Pro, a soon-to-launch website for emerging artists from Billboard Magazine, and has contributed news, reviews and features to Billboard / , Publishers Weekly, Paste, Bust, Skope, ARTnews, Comic Foundry, GO Magazine, EDGE, The Jersey Journal, and others. She is also the author of the blog Awesomed By Comics and co-hosts the Awesomed By Comics Podcast. A former administrator at Harvard, Evie decided to switch careers upon learning about Ellen Willis's Cultural Reporting and Criticism program at NYU.

Ann Powers, currently chief pop music critic at the Los Angeles Times, began her writing career in the 1980s and since then has been on staff at The New York Times, The Village Voice, and Blender. For four years she was the senior curator at the Experience Music Project, an interactive music museum in Seattle. She is the author of Weird Like Us: My Bohemian America and co-editor of Rock She Wrote: Women Write About Rock, Pop, and Rap as well as co-writer, with musician Tori Amos, of the 2005 book Piece by Piece.

Devon Powers is Assistant Professor of Culture and Communication at Drexel University. Her scholarship focuses on the intersections between cultural intermediaries and popular culture, specifically music, from the mid-twentieth century to the present. She is currently revising a manuscript that explores rock criticism at the 1960s Village Voice as a kind of public intellectualism. Powers served as a critic and editor of and moonlights as a freelance rock critic both in print and online.

Alex Ross has been the music critic of The New Yorker since 1996. From 1992 to 1996 he wrote for the New York Times. His first book, The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, became a national bestseller and has been translated into sixteen languages. Selected as one of the New York Times's ten best books of year, The Rest Is Noise won a National Book Critics Circle Award and the Guardian First Book Award, and was a finalist for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. Ross has served as a McGraw Professor in Writing at Princeton University and received honorary doctorates from the New England Conservatory and the Manhattan School of Music. In 2008 he was named a MacArthur Fellow. His latest book, Listen to This, was published October 2010. A native of Washington, DC, Ross now lives in Manhattan.

Rob Sheffield has been a music journalist for more than twenty years. He is a columnist for Rolling Stone, where he writes about music, TV, and pop culture. He regularly appears on VH1. He is the author of the national bestseller Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time, which has been translated into French, German, Swedish, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and other languages he can’t read.

Nona Willis Aronowitz
is a journalist, speaker, and radio producer. She has written for outlets like The Chicago Tribune, The Nation, The Village Voice, The New York Observer,,, and Bitch magazine. She is co-author of the book Girldrive: Criss-crossing America, Redefining Feminism, and blogs at Girldrive is based on a road trip that she and her photographer friend, Emma Bee Bernstein, took across the U.S., where they talked with hundreds of young women about their lives, ambitions, and views on feminism. She is a contributing producer for NY Public Radio’s Soundcheck, and was the associate producer of an NPR midterm elections series called Pop + Politics with Farai Chideya.