Women's studies Chair Bonnie Thornton Dill serving two-year term as ARHU dean.
Dill, long-time chair of women's studies, is expected to serve until June 30, 2013. She is the first African American woman* to hold the post, and succeeds James Harris, who is stepping down after 14 years as dean. Dill's term begins August 1.
Internationally known for her cross-cutting scholarship on race and gender, Black and Latina women in higher education, as well as issues such as work, family and poverty, Dill has led women's studies at Maryland to national prominence - it is one of a select few universities in the United States to offer a doctoral degree in the field; it serves as the base for the National Women's Studies Association and editorial home of the pioneering journal, Feminist Studies.
Courses on women and gender are now regularly offered by 26 departments and programs throughout the university, including African American Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Art History, Asian American Studies, Biology, Classics, Communication, Comparative Literature, Education, English, Family Sciences, French and Italian, Germanic Studies, History, Israel Studies, Jewish Studies, Journalism, Kinesiology, LGBT Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Spanish, U.S. Latina/o Studies, and Theatre.
Dill has spent two decades in the department, first as professor and later as chair. She is also the founding director of the Consortium on Race, Gender, and Ethnicity at Maryland, which promotes "intersectional" research. Her scholarship includes three books, most recently, Emerging Intersections: Race, Class, and Gender in Theory, Policy and Practice(2009), and numerous articles.
"Bonnie's scholarly life has been defined by intersections and cross-disciplinary work - excellent preparation for the challenges of leading such a diverse college as Arts and Humanities," says Senior Vice President and Provost Ann G. Wylie, on announcing the appointment. "Under her leadership, our women's studies program has grown in both size and stature. She is a pioneer in her field, and a number of colleagues in the college recommended her highly. President Loh and I are confident that she will bring further distinction to the invaluable work of the College of Arts and Humanities."
"We must promote an understanding of how essential arts and humanities disciplines are to human progress," Dill says. "Without education and research in these fields, we'll fail to learn from society's successes and its failures. I'll be a strong voice for the importance of our College's work in our rapidly changing world and in service to the State of Maryland."
Dill points, for example, to the College's ongoing mission of educating "global citizens who think creatively" about the challenges of the 21st century." Our graduates are the measure of our success," she adds. "The yardstick is their ability to think critically, boldly and imaginatively."
GROWTH OF ARTS AND HUMANITIES AT MARYLAND
Wylie adds that a search will commence in fall 2012 for the next Arts and Humanities dean to serve at the conclusion of Dill's term in 2013.
Complete bio online here.
*Note: Bonnie Thornton Dill is the first woman to serve as dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. Under an earlier organizational structure in the 1970s - before there were colleges or deans at Maryland - Shirley Strum Kenny served as "provost" of the division of Arts and Humanities.