Tracy Fessenden is the interim Director of the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies, where she holds the Steve and Margaret Forster Professorship on the faculty of religious studies. Prior to receiving her doctorate in religious studies from the University of Virginia, she studied literature at Yale University. Her work focuses on gender, race, and sexuality in American religious history; religion and American literature and the arts; and the relationship between religion and the secular in American law and public life. She is the author of "Religion Around Billie Holiday" (Penn State UP) and "Culture and Redemption: Religion, the Secular, and American Literature" (Princeton UP, 2007; paperback 2013), co-editor of "The Puritan Origins of American Sex: Religion, Sexuality and National Identity in American Literature" (Routledge, 2001) and "Religion, the Secular, and the Politics of Sexual Difference" (Columbia UP, 2013), and general editor of the "North American Religions" series at New York University Press. Her recent articles and essays have appeared in American Literary History, Religion & Politics, a special issue of Religion on “The Study of American Religions: Critical Reflections on a Specialization,” The Immanent Frame: Secularism, Religion, and the Public Sphere, Early American Literature, New Literary History, Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture,and in edited collections and anthologies. An affiliate of the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict, Professor Fessenden has been a co-principal investigator or project team member on numerous research projects, including Public Religion, the Secular, and Democracy and Teaching and Talking about Religion in Public,supported by the Ford Foundation, and Religion and International Affairs: Through the Prism of Rights and Gender, supported by the Luce Foundation.