Bonnie Thornton Dill

Ph.D. (1979) and M.A. (1970) New York University, B.A. (1965) University of Rochester

Bonnie Thornton Dill is dean of the College of Arts and Humanities and professor of Women’s Studies. A pioneering scholar studying the intersections of race, class and gender in the U.S. with an emphasis on African American women, work and families, Thornton Dill’s scholarship has been reprinted in numerous collections and edited volumes. Her recent publications include an edited collection of essays on intersectionality with Ruth Zambrana entitled Emerging Intersections: Race, Class, and Gender in Theory, Policy, and Practice (Rutgers University Press, 2009), and numerous articles.

Prior to assuming the position of dean, Thornton Dill chaired the Women’s Studies Department for eight years. In addition, she has worked with colleagues to found two research centers that have been national leaders in developing and disseminating the body of scholarship that has come to be known by the term “intersectionality.” Today she holds the title of Founding Director for both the Center for Research on Women at the University of Memphis and the Consortium on Race, Gender and Ethnicity at the University of Maryland. She is currently President of the National Women’s Studies Association (2010-2012) and prior to that was Vice President of the American Sociological Association. Thornton Dill also serves as Chair of the Advisory Board of Scholars for Ms. Magazine.

Professor Thornton Dill has won a number of prestigious awards including two awards for mentoring; the Jessie Bernard Award and the Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award both given by the American Sociological Association; the Eastern Sociological Society’s Robin Williams Jr. Distinguished Lectureship; and in 2009-2010, was appointed Stanley Kelley, Jr. Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching in the Department of Sociology at Princeton University.

Her current research pulls together her knowledge and experience as a teacher, mentor and institution builder around issues of race/ethnicity, class and gender in higher education to examine the experiences of historically underrepresented minority faculty in research universities, focusing specifically upon the impact of occupational stress on their physical and mental health and their career paths.

Major Areas of Research:

  • Intersections of race and gender
  • Black and Latina women in higher education
  • Work, family, and poverty

Selected Publications:
Emerging Intersections: Race, Class, and Gender in Theory, Policy, and Practice with R. E. Zambrana, eds. (Rutgers University Press, 2009).

“Intersectionality: A Transformative Paradigm in Feminist Theory and Social Justice with M.  Kohlman, in S. Hesse–Biber, ed., Handbook of Feminist Research: Theory and Praxis, 2nd edition, (Sage, forthcoming).

“Instituting a Legacy of Change: Transforming the Campus Climate through Intellectual Leadership” with A. McLaughlin et. al. in W. Brown-Glaude, Doing Diversity in Higher Education, Rutgers University Press, 2009. 

“Disparities in Latina Health:  An Intersectional Analyses” with R. E. Zambrana in A. J. Schulz and L. Mullings eds., Gender, Race Class & Health. (Jossey-Bass, 2006).