Associate Research Professor
Religion and Gender Studies
Erzen's writing and research focuses on American religion, with particular interests in ethnography, gender and sexuality studies, evangelicalism, American conservatism, and issues of incarceration and prisons. Her first book, Straight to Jesus: Sexual and Christian Conversions in the Ex-Gay Movement (California, 2006), received the Ruth Benedict Prize and Gustave O. Arlt Award in the Humanities. Erzen also wrote Fanpire: The Religion of Twilight (Beacon Press, 2012), which explores the attraction of the Twilight book and film series, and looks at the appeal of traditional gender roles in a post-feminist era saturated with narratives of girl power. Erzen was co-editor of Zero Tolerance: Quality of Life and the New Police Brutality in New York City (New York University, 2001). She was a 2013 Soros Justice Media Fellow and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Social Science Research Council, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and others. In 2016 Erzen will publish God in Captivity: Punishment and Redemption in America's Faith-Based Prisons, which isabout the role of religious ministries in prisons and the conservative movement for prison reform. Erzen is executive director of the Freedom Education Project Puget Sound, an organization that provides college classes to women in Washington prisons and that seeks to educate the public about educational access and incarceration.
B.A. Brown University, 1995; M.Phil., Ph.D., New York University, 1998, 2002