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, 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