During Drosophila oogenesis, germline stem cell (GSC) identity is maintained largely by preventing the expression of factors that promote differentiation. This is accomplished via the activity of several genes acting either in the GSC or in its niche. The translational repressors Nanos and Pumilio act in GSCs to prevent differentiation, probably by inhibiting the translation of early differentiation factors, whereas niche signals prevent differentiation by silencing transcription of the differentiation factor Bam. We have found that the DNA-associated protein Stonewall (Stwl) is also required for GSC maintenance. stwl is required cell-autonomously; clones of stwl(-) germ cells were lost by differentiation, and ectopic Stwl caused an expansion of GSCs. stwl mutants acted as Suppressors of variegation, indicating that stwl normally acts in chromatin-dependent gene repression. In contrast to several previously described GSC maintenance factors, Stwl probably functions epigenetically to prevent GSC differentiation. Stwl-dependent transcriptional repression does not target bam, but rather Stwl represses the expression of many genes, including those that may be targeted by Nanos and Pumilio translational inhibition.