I am a writer, professor and a 2013 Soros Justice Media fellow. I have a Ph.D. in American Studies from New York University (2002) and a B.A. in American Civilization from Brown University (1995).
I am writing a book entitled God in Captivity: Becoming a Faith-Based Prison Nation about faith-based programs in American prisons. My first book, Straight to Jesus: Sexual and Christian Conversions in the Ex-Gay Movement (University of California Press, 2006) won the Gustave O. Arlt Book Award in the Humanities from the Council of Graduate Schools and the Ruth Benedict Prize Book Award from the American Anthropological Association. I am also the author of Fanpire: The Twilight Saga and the Women Who Love It (Beacon Press, 2012), and co-editor of Zero Tolerance: Quality of Life and the New Police Brutality in New York City (NYU Press, 2001).
My work has been supported by 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. My writing has appeared in The Nation, the Boston Globe, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Salon and academic journals such as American Quarterly and PMLA: Publications of the Modern Language Association. I have been interviewed on National Public Radio’s Fresh Air and MSNBC’s Weekend Edition, among other news and radio shows.
Previously, I was an Associate Professor of religion and comparative studies at the Ohio State University and a Mellon Postdoctoral fellow at Barnard College. I live in Seattle, WA with my husband and two children where I run a college program for women in prison and teach classes at the University of Puget Sound.