Tanya Erzen is a writer and professor whose work focuses on American religion with particular interests in ethnography, gender and sexuality studies, and American conservatism. Her first book, Straight to Jesus: Sexual and Christian Conversions in the Ex-Gay Movement (California, 2006), received the Ruth Benedict Prize and the Gustave O Arlt award.  She is also the author of Fanpire: The Religion of Twilight (Beacon Press, 2012) and co-editor of Zero Tolerance: Quality of Life and the New Police Brutality in New York City (NYU, 2001).  She is currently finishing a book about faith-based groups in American prisons entitled God in Captivity.

Recently, she has been a Soros Justice Media fellow and a 2015 Hedgebrook Writer-in-Residence.  She has also received research support from the Open Society Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, Mellon Foundation, American Association of University Women and the Social Science Research Council.   Her writing has appeared in Guernica, The Nation, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Religion Dispatches, The Revealer, Bookforum and academic journals such as American Quarterly and PMLA: Publications of the Modern Language Association.

Tanya Erzen has a Ph.D. in American Studies from New York University and a B.A. in American Civilization from Brown University.  She lives in Seattle where she is an Associate Professor of Religion at The University of Puget Sound and the Executive Director of the Freedom Education Project Puget Sound, an organization that provides college classes to women in Washington prisons and seeks to educate the public about educational access and incarceration.

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