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Dr. Erica Williams: Sex Tourism & Mega Sporting Events

August 2016

From August 5 to August 21, 2016, fans of mega sporting events will have sustained focus on Brazil as athletes from around the globe converge on the country for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Associate Professor Erica Lorraine Williams, Ph.D., a Black feminist anthropologist at Spelman College, has extensively examined Brazilian transnational tourism, gender, race, culture and sexual politics. Dr. Williams can provide perspective on sexism, racism, feminism, and socio-economic inequality as it relates to Brazil as well as transnational tourism and mega sporting events such as the Olympics.

After spending more than one year interviewing tourists, tour guides and sex workers in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, Dr. Williams’ research resulted in the dissertation “Anxious Pleasures: Race and the Sexual Economies of Transnational Tourism in Salvador, Brazil” followed by the 2013 book “Sex Tourism in Bahia: Ambiguous Entanglements.” Dr. Williams’ book, which explores the connection between culture and sex tourism among those of Afro-Brazilian descent and foreigners in Bahia, won the National Women’s Studies Association/ University of Illinois Press First Book Prize.

Dr. Williams teaches a number of courses including “Introduction to Cultural Anthropology,” “Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Gender and Sexuality,” “Feminist Ethnography,”  “Gender, Transnationalism, and Human Rights in a Global Context” and “Race and Identity in Latin America.” She also serves as faculty co-director of the Spelman College Summer Study Abroad Program in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. She earned a Ph.D. and master’s degree in cultural anthropology from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree from New York University.

Related Articles:

Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography: Sex Work and Exclusion in the Tourist Districts of Salvador, Brazil