Ariella R. Rotramel

Ariella R. Rotramel

Vandana Shiva Assistant Professor of Gender, Sexuality and Intersectionality Studies

Joined Connecticut College: 2012

Ph.D., Rutgers University
B.A., University of Illinois at Chicago


Social movements

Gender and women's history

Women and work

Ethnic studies

Queer and sexuality studies

Feminist praxis

Community-based learning

Digital Humanities

Professor Ariella Rotramel is an interdisciplinary scholar committed to bridging theoretical and practical engagements of identity and social justice issues. Rotramel holds a bachelor of arts degree for an Independent Program of Study (Intersections of Racial, Sexual and Gender Identities) from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a doctorate in Women's and Gender Studies from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Rotramel’s research interests grow out of experiences in teaching and community. They reflect Rotramel’s curiosity about how and why intersectional identities matter and collective efforts to improve our world.

Rotramel is the 2019 recipient of Connecticut College’s Helen Mulvey Faculty Award for Fostering Student Achievement. Rotramel also received the 2017 Faculty Mentor Award from the College’s Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program. These awards reflect Rotramel’s commitment to challenging all students to thoughtfully and deeply engage their education. Rotramel also received the College’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Faculty Service Award for contributions to College and broader community.

Pushing Back, written by Ariella Rotramel

Rotramel’s book, Pushing Back: Women of Color–Led Grassroots Activism in New York City, is part of the University of Georgia Press’ Since 1970: Histories of Contemporary America series. The book is included in the Ms. “December 2019 Reads for the Rest of Us.” Pushing Back explores women of color's grassroots leadership in organizations that are not singularly identified with feminism. Centered in New York City, Pushing Back brings an intersectional perspective to the study of communities of color as it addresses injustices tied to domestic work, housing, and environmental policies and practices. Rotramel shows how activists respond to injustice and marginalization, documenting the ways people of color and the working class in the United States recognize identity as key to the roots of and solutions to injustices such as environmental racism and gentrification.

Rotramel is also pursuing a second major research project studying histories of casino cocktail waitresses in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This topic offers potential to illuminate how women workers navigate sexualized labor, a particularly important question in the wake of #MeToo. A third research project has grown out of a question raised during the writing of Pushing Back. Rotramel is collecting and analyzing public housing tenant data to understand more fully the importance of this resource for single mothers and their families.


Rotramel has taught the following courses at Connecticut College:

  • Race, Sex, Gender (FYS 132D)

  • Women on the Loose (FYS 133F/FYS 107V)

  • Sex, Gender, Culture: Introduction to Gender and Women’s Studies (GWS 103)

  • Sex/Work (GWS 200/GSIS 202)

  • Public Policy and Social Ethics (CA 201)

  • Introduction to Queer Studies (GWS 203)

  • Feminist Approaches to Disability Studies (GWS 207)

  • Transnational Women’s Movements (GWS 224)

  • Training for Transformation (GWS 295)

  • Social Justice Praxis (GWS 302)

  • Advanced Readings in Feminist Theory (GWS 306)

  • Feminist Social Research Methods (GWS 312)

  • Workers Unite! (GWS 325)

  • Queer Theory and Activism (GWS 381)

  • Desiring Justice: Sex, Difference and Social Movements (GWS 402)

  • Senior Capstone in GWS (GWS 410)

Rotramel’s publications include:

  • Rotramel, Ariella. 2020. Pushing Back: Women of Color-led Grassroots Activism in New York City. University of Georgia Press, Since 1970: Histories of Contemporary America series.

  • Rotramel, Ariella, Rose Oliveira, and Rebecca Parmer. 2019. “Engaging Women’s History through Collaborative Archival Wikipedia Projects.” Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. Issue 14.

  • Rotramel, Ariella. 2012. “‘We make the spring rolls, they make their own rules’: Filipina Domestic Workers’ Fight for Labor Rights in New York City and Los Angeles.”  AAPI Nexus: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Policy, Practice, and Community Journal 10, no. 2: 77-97.

  • Rotramel, Ariella. 2017. “‘This is like family’: Activist-Survivor Histories and Motherwork,” in U.S. Women's History: Untangling the Threads of Sisterhood, edited by Leslie Brown, Anne Valk and Jacqueline Castledine. Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers University Press: 49-62.

  • Rotramel, Ariella. 2016. “U.S. Presidents and LGBT Policy: Leadership, Civil Rights, and Morality Claims, 1977–2015,” in The Gendered Executive: A Comparative Analysis of Presidents, Prime Ministers, and Chief Executives, edited by Janet M. Martin and MaryAnne Borrelli. Philadelphia: Temple University Press: 123-146.

  • Rotramel, Ariella. 2014. “Third Wave Feminism.” In The Social History of the American Family: An Encyclopedia, edited by Marilyn J. Coleman and Lawrence H. Ganong, vol. 20, 1376-78. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

  • Rotramel, Ariella, and Dianna M. Rodriguez. 2014. “Birth Control Pills.” In The Social History of the American Family: An Encyclopedia, edited by Marilyn J. Coleman and Lawrence H. Ganong, vol. 2, 110-13. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

  • Rotramel, Ariella. “Anti-LGBTQ Hate Crimes in the United States: Histories and Debates” research profile. In LGBTQ Studies: An Open Introduction, edited by Deb Amory et al.

  • Rotramel, Ariella. 2017. Mobilizing New York: AIDS, Antipoverty, and Feminist Activism by Tamar W. Carroll. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2015. New York History 98, no. 3-4 (Summer/Fall): 500-503.

Rotramel has written the following blog posts:


Rotramel’s recent presentations include:

  • Fighting Casual Racism and Gentrification: Activists Claim Their Right to the City, National Women’s Studies Association Conference, San Francisco, CA, November 2019, Presenter
  • Pushing Back: Women of Color-Led Grassroots Activism in New York City, Social Justice Month invited lecture, Women’s and Gender Studies Program, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT, November 2019, Invited Lecturer

  • Revisiting the Borgata Case in the #MeToo Era: Weighing Cocktail Waitresses' Rights, National Women’s Studies Association Conference, Atlanta, GA, November 2018, Roundtable Presenter

  • Affording Home: New York City Public Housing's Women Residents (1963-2016), International Federation for Research in Women's History Conference, Vancouver, Canada, August 2018, Organizer and Presenter

  • Engaging the LGBTQ Community In and Outside of the Classroom, Queering Academia Conference, University of Westminster, London, England, June 2018, Co-organizer and Presenter
  • Rooting Feminist Praxis: Queer Motherwork’s Lessons for Racial and Economic Justice-Oriented Research, National Women’s Studies Association Conference, Baltimore, MD, November 2017, Organizer and Paper Presenter

  • We’re Here to Raise the Stakes: Engaging Women’s History through Collaborative Archival Digital Projects, Women’s History in the Digital World Conference, Maynooth University, Maynooth, Ireland, July 2017, Co-presenter

  • Fighting for Our People: Queering Motherwork through New York Community Activism, Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Genders, and Sexualities, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY, June 2017, Organizer and Paper Presenter
  • Building Strength from the Margins: Economic and Carceral Justice Struggles in the LGBTQ Movement, The Global Struggle for LGBTQ Rights: Legal, Political and Social Dimensions Symposium, Rutgers School of Law, April 2015, Invited Speaker

  • Emergent Metaliteracies: Bridging Feminist Participatory Digital Environments and the College Classroom, National Women’s Studies Association Conference, San Juan, PR, November 2014, Organizer and Co-presenter

Visit the Gender, Sexuality and Intersectionality Studies Department website.

Majoring in Gender, Sexuality and Intersectionality Studies.

Contact Ariella R. Rotramel

Mailing Address

Ariella R. Rotramel
Connecticut College
270 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320


2nd Floor, 740 Williams Street