Martien Halvorson-Taylor is a scholar of the literature, religions and history of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and the Second Temple period. She is particularly interested in how narratives (like the books of Esther and Genesis) and poetry (like the Song of Songs and the book of Job) were interpreted—and how they continue to articulate the major human questions and provide for existential reflection. Since 2004, she has taught at the University of Virginia, where she also co-directs the Religion, Race and Democracy Lab, which, with an interdisciplinary cohort of faculty and students, supports teaching, facilitates research, and produces stories in many forms on religion, race and democracy.