As part of a yearlong celebration of the 30th Anniversary of Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Lafayette College, Carol Colatrella, professor of literature and associate dean for graduate studies and co-director of the Center for the Study of Women, Science and Technology at Georgia Tech., will present a lecture, “Necessary Connections: Why STEM Fields Need Gender Studies” at 4:10 p.m., Thurs. Nov. 5 in the Oechsle Hall Auditorium, room 224.

This event is free and open to the public.

Far from being incompatible with each other, gender studies and STEM fields can connect in ways that are beneficial, argues Colatrella. Although gender studies and STEM are often seen as sharing only one concern—the (low) number of women and underrepresented minorities in STEM fields—gender studies can additionally contribute to STEM education by reframing important knowledge around social organization and cultures, enabling working and thinking “outside the box.”

Recipient of the Geoffrey G. Eicholz Faculty Teaching Award, Georgia Tech (2007-10), in 2013 Colatrella received a CETL Educational Partnership Award for work with GEMS (Girls Excelling in Math and Science) club, which offers weekly, hands-on activities for students interested in STEM.

She received her Ph.D. in comparative literature from Rutgers University in 1987.  Her scholarly interests focus on the cultural study of nineteenth- and twentieth-century American and European literary, historical, and scientific narratives, particularly those emphasizing moral transgression and rehabilitation.

Her book Evolution, Sacrifice, and Narrative: Balzac, Zola, and Faulkner and articles in Nineteenth-Century French Studies and Comparative Literature and other journals analyze popular and scientific narrative representations of race, class, and gender.

Cotrella’s recent book, Toys and Tools in Pink: Cultural Narratives of Gender, Science, and Technology, analyzes popular culture representations of women engaging with science and technology.

This event is sponsored by Lafayette’s women’s and gender studies program, the departments of biology, chemical engineering, chemistry, civil and environmental engineering, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, geology, mathematics, mechanical engineering, physics, and the engineering studies, environmental sciences and studies, and neuroscience programs; the Society for Environmental Engineers and Scientists (SEES), and the Society for Women in Engineering.

For more information, contact Mary Armstrong, associate professor of English and women’s and gender studies, (610) 330-5992,


Lafayette is a highly selective, national liberal arts college in Easton, Pa. with 2,400 students and 215 full-time faculty, offering a wide variety of undergraduate degree programs including engineering.


Photo: Carol Colatrella, Ph.D., Georgia Tech

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Thurs. Nov. 5 @LafCol: Georgia Tech professor Carol Colatrella on why STEM fields need gender studies, 4:10 p.m. Oechsle Hall.

Kristine Y. Todaro
Director/Special Projects & Media Relations
Lafayette College

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