Deidre Hill-Butler, associate professor of sociology

Deidre Hill Butler

Job Title
Associate Professor of Sociology
Chair of the Department of Sociology
Lippman Hall 206

Research interests

Dr. Deidre Hill Butler's research areas encompass the Sociology of Black Women’s Culture. She specializes in ethnographic studies of Womanism; where she examines anti-Black racism and Black resilience and joy. At the heart of her work is an understanding of how Black women reimagine and create optimal communities. Professor Hill Butler is

Teaching interests

Dr. Hill Butler joined the Sociology Department at Union College in the Fall of 2001. Her courses are innovative and intersectional, drawing in students across all majors and minors. Some of her most appreciated and popular classes amongst students include: Sociology of Black Religious Experiences, Political Sociology #Blacklivesmatter, and Sociology of the American Family: Cross-Cultural Perspectives. Additionally, Professor Deidre Hill Butler was the first Woman of Color on the teaching faculty to earn tenure in 2009.


Professor Hill Butler finds joy in exploring Black resilience strategies. Her forthcoming book, Beyond Mammies and Matriarchs: Visibility of Black Stepmothers with SUNY Press, reveals the interior lives of womanist stepmothers. Notably, her work appears in various edited volumes and interdisciplinary journals, including Afro-Americans in New York Life and History: An Interdisciplinary Journal and the Journal of the Association for the Research on Mothering. She also guest-edited a special edition of the Journal of Pan African Studies (JPAS) on Africana mothering.

Additional media


Dr. Hill Butler’s exhibit, “Revitalized Community Bordeaux: a Neighborhood of Nashville, Tennessee Since the 2010 Flood,” is a collection of personal testimonies and photographic narratives of womanist praxis.


Dr. Deidre Hill Butler recently ended her term as an inaugural member of the President’s Diversity team as Director of Faculty Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging / Academic Diversity Officer, where she contributed to faculty recruitment and retention efforts and chaired the History and Symbols Committee. She co-founded the BIPOC Employee Alliance, Union Coalition for Inclusiveness and Diversity (UCID), and Women of Color Collective. As the Director of the Africana Studies Program, she co-hosted the New York African Studies Association Conference and elevated the program into a Major. An agent for community engagement, Professor Hill Butler is a board member at Safe Inc., an emergency shelter serving homeless and runaway youth. She is a former board member at C.O.C.O.A House; an after-school program that enriches children in the Hamilton Hill neighborhood. Additionally, she is a member of the oldest Black Church in Schenectady, Duryee Memorial AME Zion Church, in addition to being the lead of the Chapter prayer team for the Delta Mu Omega Graduate Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.


All of Professor Hill Butler’s work is innovative and intersectional, attracting students across all majors and minors. Her research mentoring style with students is individualized. She connects with her mentees to learn their skill sets and research interests, to create suitable projects. Dr. Butler extends her mentorship beyond the campus, and after a hiatus with the Working Group on Girls of Schenectady Inc, she's returning as a co-facilitator for a group at the SeatCenter. Additionally, Dr. Hill Butler is the chaplain for the Greater Albany Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.

Black Women's Qualitative Research Lab

In her Black Women’s Studies Qualitative Data Research Lab, Dr. Hill Butler works with undergraduate students, library staff, and the Union College learning technologies team to digitize her 100+ Black feminist and womanist interview dataset. When complete, the archive will be accessible on multiple digital platforms.

Podcast Series

Professor Hill Butler is relaunching her Womanist Genealogies podcast series with a focus on conversations questioning sexual and gender politics, economic and cultural marginality, and anti-racist practices with self-care wisdom sprinkled throughout every exchange. The series allows audiences to listen in on conversations between Black women across several generations, and much more.

Academic credentials

B.A., Oberlin College; M.A., Cornell University; Ph.D., Clark University
Lippman Hall

Lippman Hall 212

View in Google Maps


Melinda A. Goldner

Fax: (518) 388-6721