Associate Research Professor, Religion and Gender & Queer Studies

BA, Brown University, 1995
MPhil, PhD, New York University, 2002

Tanya Erzen is Associate Research Professor in Religion and Gender Queer Studies. Her writing and research focus on American religion and politics with particular interests in ethnography, gender and sexuality studies, evangelicalism, American conservatism, and critical prison studies.

Her newest book is God in Captivity: The Rise of Faith-Based Ministries in an Age of Mass Incarceration, Beacon Press in February 2017. She is also the author of Straight to Jesus: Sexual and Christian Conversions in the Ex-Gay Movement (California, 2006), which received the Ruth Benedict Prize and the Gustave O Arlt award; 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 has been a 2013 Soros Justice Media fellow and a 2015 Hedgebrook Writer-in-Residence. She has also received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, Mellon Foundation, American Association of University Women and the Social Science Research Council.

She is the Faculty 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. FEPPS is a Signature Initiative of the University of Puget Sound.

She teaches an experiential learning class called REL307: Prisons, Gender and Education in which students learn about the history of punishment and incarceration in America. Students spend 3 hours per week in study halls at the Washington Corrections Center for Women with FEPPS students. This is a KNOW course that is cross-listed in Religious Studies, GQS, Education and Experiential learning.

  • REL325 New Religious Movements in a Global Context
  • REL270 Religion, Social Movements and (In)Justice
  • REL 400 The Politics of Living and Dying
  • CN318 Crime and Punishment
  • SSI2 Utopia and Dystopia
  • REL312 The Apocalyptic Imagination
  • REL368 Gender Matters
  • GQS494 Senior Thesis Research Seminar in Gender Studies
  • GQS340 Feminist and Queer Methodologies
  • GQS310 Histories and Theories of Sexuality