Religions Texas is a joint initiative of the University of Texas at Austin Department of Religious Studies and the Institute for Diversity and Civic Life to document and map religious diversity in Texas. In January 2017, the University of Texas hosted a consultation for this initiative, which included panels on the study of religions in Texas, mapping religion and digital humanities, and religious literacy, pedagogy, and public humanities, as well as a keynote lecture by Tracy Fessenden, Professor of Religious Studies at Arizona State University. In this lecture, she discussed mapping as a colonial project and what we can learn from Texas ghost tours.
The night before the consultation, a crowd at the historic Victory Grill in Austin was treated to an evening of Billie Holiday songs performed by Pamela Hart and paired with readings by Tracy Fessenden from her upcoming book, Religion Around Billie Holiday. The event was sponsored by Religious Studies, African and African Diaspora Studies, the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, and DiverseArts Culture Works.