Affiliated Institutions

Spelman College

Erica Lorraine Williams is an Assistant Professor at Spelman College who earned her Ph.D and M.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Stanford University and her B.A. from New York University. Her research has focused on the cultural and sexual politics of the transnational tourism industry in Salvador, Brazil. She has published Sex Tourism in Bahia: Ambiguous Entanglements, winner of the National Women's Studies Association/University of Illinois Press First Book Prize (University of Illinois Press, November 2013), and essays in Gender, Place, and Culture, Policing Pleasure: Global Reflections on Sex Work and Public Policy (NYU, 2011); the Encyclopedia of Globalization (2012), Feminist Studies, Counterpunch, and The Feminist Wire.

Areas of Research

sex tourism, Afro-Brazilian feminisms, activism of women


Williams, Erica. Sex Tourism in Bahia: Ambiguous Entanglements. University of Illinois Press, 2013.

Williams, Erica. “Geographies of Blackness, Sex Work, and Exclusion in the Tourist Districts of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.” Gender, Place, Culture: A Feminist Journal of Geography. May, 2013.

Williams, Erica. “Moral Panics and Racialized Sexuality: “Sex Tourism,” “Trafficking” and the Limits of Transnational Mobility in Bahia.” In Policing Pleasure: Global Reflections on Sex Work and Public Policy. Kelly, Patty and Susan Dewey, eds. NYU Press, 2012.

Women’s Studies and Sexuality Studies at HBCUs: The Audre Lordre Project at Spelman College. Forum: W/G/S Studies Women’s Studies and Sexuality Studies in Conversation. Feminist Studies 39, no. 2. October, 2013.


Salvador - Bahia, Brazil

Constructing Afro-Brazilian Feminisms: Black Women's Activism in Northeast Brazil

This project explores the role that black feminist activists play in uplifting Afro-Brazilian women and girls as well as the broader Afro-Brazilian community in Salvador, Bahia. Black women play a prominent role in leading a multitude of social justice organizations that work to improve the conditions of the Afro-Brazilians. These organizations range from neighborhood associations to groups that aim to empower women.