Pam Butler

Associate Director of Gender Studies
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Faculty Fellow, Center for Social Concerns

Department: Gender Studies

Area of Specialization:

U.S. histories of gender, sexuality, and empire; feminist, queer, and trans theories of race; critical prison studies; race and reproductive politics

Dr. Butler is on leave for the Fall 2021 semester.

Students, please use this flowchart to find advising, support, and other resources you need. For all other questions related to the Gender Studies Program, contact

Pam Butler is Associate Director and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Gender Studies Program. Dr. Butler's research uses critical-race and transnational feminist critique to understand popular and public cultures in the United States. Their areas of expertise include: U.S. histories of gender, sexuality, and empire; feminist, queer, and trans theories of race and racialization; reproductive politics; and critical prison studies. Dr. Butler teaches classes both at Notre Dame and at the Westville Correctional Center.

Dr. Butler's current book project, The Secret History of American Knitting: Entanglements of Race, Sex, and Empire, is a genealogical political history of hand-knitting in the United States since the mid-19th century, focused on the ways domestic handcrafts have produced diverse racial and sexual subjectivities through such sites as the home, the prison, the museum, and the marketplace. Their work has been published in journals and edited collections including Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism and Queer Twin Cities.

In addition to this research, Dr. Butler is a master knitter and designer whose creative work since 2008 has worked to transform the hand-knitting industry’s approach to gender and embodiment. Their designs have been featured in major international publications including Knitting MagazineVogue Knitting, and Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitter’s Almanac: The Commemorative Edition.

Schedule an appointment with Professor Butler

Gender Studies Courses:

  • Feminist and Queer Prison Studies
  • Foundations in Gender Studies graduate seminar
  • Gender and U.S. Empire
  • Histories and Politics of Marriage in the U.S.
  • Introduction to Gender Studies
  • Prisons and Policing
  • Rethinking Race, Gender, and Justice
  • Politics of Reproduction
  • Transnational / Transgender

Phone: (574) 631-8635
Office: 215 O'Shaughnessy Hall