Professor Wenger’s research and teaching interests include religious encounters in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century United States, especially the U.S. West; the cultural politics of religious freedom; and the intersections of race, religion, and empire in American history. Her books are We Have a Religion: The 1920s Pueblo Indian Dance Controversy and American Religious Freedom (2009) and Religious Freedom: The Contested History of an American Ideal (2017). Her current research asks how colonial encounters made and re-made both indigenous and white settler religion in the early national United States.
Before joining the YDS faculty, Professor Wenger taught at Arizona State University and held a Bill and Rita Clements Research Fellowship at Southern Methodist University’s Clements Center for Southwest Studies. She has published essays in many edited collections and academic journals, and currently sits on the editorial boards of Religious Studies Review and the Journal of the American Academy of Religion.