The Interview to Dr. Williams

Sean T. Healy

Ovidio Vasquez

LACS 270



Response to Dr. Erica Williams Interview


On March 31st, Dr. Erica Williams came to our class for a question and answer session that shed light on some questions we had about her book Sex Tourism in Bahia. Her book emphasized the commodification of sex and how tourism exploits this ideology in particular from foreign tourists. Her story focuses on the sex tourism industry in Bahia, a province in northern Brazil that is experiencing rapidly growing development, in part because of its beautiful beaches. Williams’s book highlights the sex workers in the area by providing first hand accounts of how the sex tourism industry operates on a day-to-day basis and their relationship with foreigners. Our job was to read one chapter in Dr. Williams’s book (in addition to the introduction and conclusion) and come up with viable questions that we had from that particular chapter. We chose to read and ask questions on Chapter 1.

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Interview with Erica Williams-Lauren and Jazmin

Interview with Dr. Williams

Lauren Arsenault

Jazmin Reyes

When it comes to prostitutes and their clients, the dynamics of a relationship are not very straight forward. The clients benefit because they receive sexual services and companionship, while the prostitutes can sometimes receive luxurious gifts and affection. The question of exploitation comes up when reviewing the client-prostitute relationship. Who is exploiting who? Are they equally exploiting each other? Should outsiders judge this type of relationship? Continue reading

Women lead the Opposition to Allende

My source, an interview with Carmen Saenez, focused on the role of women in Chile’s opposition of president Salvador Allende. The highlight of the source was Saenez’s description of the March of the Empty Pots in which she partook, a revolutionary stand made by middle and upper class women. The source described the march as “a dramatic anti-Allende protest in which participants beat nosily on pots in order to draw attention to alleged shortages and accelerating inflation affecting their families.” The pressures of Chile’s crumbling economy was heavily felt by the women who had families to care for, sparking the fire that became the March of the Empty Pots protest with the help of various opposition radio stations that encouraged people to speak out against Allende. One of my questions to the class was: “why were the female protestors only middle and upperclass women?” In class we learned much about the Chilean working and lower class’s struggles with Allende’s presidency and the failing economy. After learning about the various strikes held by Chilean workers, in factories and mines, it is interesting to note that no women from the same lower/working classes participated in the march. I believe the march consisted of only middle and upper class women because they were finally feeling the economic pressures that are already so prevalent for the lower classes. To clarify, I believe that once the middle and working class women began to experience and understand the struggle that lower classes had been facing for years in Chile, they took a stand to stop it. By using their privilege, or their higher social class, they were able to produce a larger impact. And as discussed in my presentation, Chile’s March of the Empty Pots was extremely influential. Venezuela’s women recently took the streets and held the same march in opposition to Maduro’s administration in 2014. I thought it was important to note the March of the Empty Pots’ impact not only in 1970’s when it was held, but also in the present and future.

Do you think the March of the Empty Pots was a successful protest?

It is important to note how it was successful but also in what aspects it wasn’t. In my opinion, it was successful because it gave women a voice and a power they lacked during much of Latin America’s history, and even started the Poder Feminino movement. However, it can also be viewed as unsuccessful because it was unable to produce any positive change in terms of Chile’s developmental and financial situation.

The link to my in class source analysis: Presentation on “Women Lead the Opposition to Allende”

4/19 class discussion/presentation recap

On Tuesday, the overarching theme of the class discussion was Latin America in the 21st century. We touched on various topics such as the release of the revelatory Panama papers that have rocked the global financial and political elite, as well as recent currency and economic crises that have shaken the region. When discussing the Panama Papers, we focused on the shady practice of setting up offshore tax accounts under an LLC and the fine line between legal and illicit activity when using these financial vehicles. I was surprised to learn upon further research that one of my favorite soccer players Lionel Messi was implicated in the papers. Much of our discussion on currencies centered on Argentina. We learned about the boom and bust cycle of Argentina’s currency resulting from imprudent monetary policy on the part of the government. Professor Picone mentioned how the Argentinian government had artificially parodied their peso with the American dollar. In doing so, the government established a policy of economic shortermism that created auspicious conditions for an economic crisis further down the road. In this same vein, I presented on a topic very pertinent to 21st century America: the fissure between industrialization and environmental preservation. My source was an online article from an the environmental campaign organization called Greenpeace. In my presentation, I discussed the accelerating rate of disappearance of Chile’s glaciers in the Patagonia region due to anthropogenic climate change and more importantly, Chiles mining industry, the countries most lucrative industry. I also discussed the measures that Greenpeace has taken, including creating a micronation called the Glacier Republic comprised of Chile’s ice fields, to raise awareness for glacial preservation and to exert pressure on the government to implement what would be the first legislation to regulate the mining industry and protect 50% of the glaciers. The dilemma that Chile’s government faces in reconciling economic growth for a developing country that needs all the revenue it can get while not ravaging the environment, is one that is shared by many other countries in Latin America.


  1. If you were the president of Chile what measures would you take to go about addressing the dilemma of reconciling economic growth while still preserving the glaciers?

2.  What else can an organization like Greenpeace to do put pressure on the government to implement greater legislative protections for the glaciers?

Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia

The CCLC is a continuing productive landscape that consists of a series of six sites. In the words of the UNESCO heritage site, it “illustrates natural, economic, and cultural features, combined in a mountainous area with collaboratively farmed coffee plantation, some of these in clearings of high forest.” The CCLC is found on the foothills of Cordillera de los Andes in the west of the country. It began with Antioquian settlers setting up small farms in the 19th century, and so the CCLC has a economy and culture rooted in coffee. The heritage site continues to describe the process and geographic features typical in coffee production. According to the source,the urban spaces surrounding the CCLC are a mix of Spanish and indigenous cultures that has adapted to coffee production. The next sections of the source talk about the criteria that the CCLC falls under that classifies it as a UNESCO heritage site. Criterion V describes the CCLC as an example of continuing land use, due mostly to campesino farmers, innovation, and the focus of strong communities. Criterion VI talks about the very strong coffee tradition and the traditional techniques and clothing of the campesino farmers. The sections “Integrity” and “Authenticity” describe how the site is an integral role to Colombia’a national identity and also how integral this site is to the protection and continuation of the culture that was created around this site. Finally, “Protection and Management” describes the effects to protect the site, which includes custom laws and plans that benefit the formal management provisions. It also goes into some detail about the committees that are supposed to manage the site and also the threats to the site, such as mining.

Questions to consider: if this site disappeared, what do you think would happen to the people and culture that surrounds the site?
How did the history of Colombia impact or affect the site?

Maggie McLeod, Liam Buckley, and Victor Tapia Poma

Chapter Five analyzes Aprosba’s operation mechanisms as well as its state, regional and transnational networks. Dr. Williams gives a detailed explanation on how Aprosba operates under the eyes of the Brazilian Government. Additionally, she also critiques existing feminist literature on prostitution, for example how the word “prostitute” only refers to female sex workers when in reality the sex worker can include children, males, and transgenders. Or how words such as “puta” have a derogatory connotation when referring to prostitutes. Williams argues that this ingrained attitude has contributed to prostitutes in Brazil being as second class citizens and their rights have not been recognized. Continue reading

Dr. Williams Interview

Alejandra Lara – Interview

Sex tourism in Bahia, by Erica Williams covers the nexus among racism, commodification, and eroticization. Dr. Williams, became involved with sex workers in Brazil in an attempt to conduct research about sex tourism in the area. The book wanted to provide us with the different perceptions, different actors in the business had. Despite being an interesting topic, the book offered a narrow and very simply insight into this business.

By focusing in chapter four, Dr. Williams interviewed a “young white heterosexual male sex tourist from New York City.” (4) The American argued that sex in Brazil was something he wanted to experience due to the idea of it, the idea of Brazilian women, and how “easy” it was to obtain sex because of his race. Continue reading

Write Up About Erica Williams Interview – Jill and Abood 

On March 31, Erica Williams, an associate professor of anthropology and sociology at Spellman college, came into our class to discuss her book Sex Tourism in Bahia. In order to prepare for this class, we read Chapter three of Williams’ book which was entitled “Working-Class Kings in Paradise Coming to Terms with Sex Tourism.”

In this chapter, Williams first refutes the popular notion that sex tourists are primarily from the upper class—she shares that in Bahia, many sex tourists are from the middle class. Williams then discusses the ambiguity of sex tourism in Bahia. She believes that sex tourism is classified by both implicit and implicit sexual encounters.  Continue reading

Erica Williams

Last Thursday Professor Erica Williams was present to discuss her book Sex Tourism in Bahia, an investigative work exploring the taboos of sex tourism in Brazil. Professor Erica Williams gave a short summary regarding the contents of her book and then let the class share questions. What was really interesting in our discussion was the range of questions explored and the subsequent analysis of sex tourism’s current state in world affairs. In addition we discussed the role of race in sex tourism and the prevalence of the Afro-Brazilian ethnicity in sex related institutions. Sex Tourism in Bahia is an unabashed look into the world of race, socio-economic status, and globalization. Continue reading

Luke and Tristan Dr. Williams Report

Having read the introduction and fourth chapter of Sex Tourism in Bahia in preparation for Erica Williams’ visit to our class, we already had a firm grasp on a number of the fundamental premises of the book prior to her arrival. For example, we were aware that Brazil had surpassed Thailand as the world’s number one destination for sex tourism, and we understood how the legalization of sex work in Brazil was contributing to its booming sex tourism industry. However, as we considered what we wanted to discuss during Dr. Williams’ visit, we arrived at the conclusion that the most intriguing parts of her narrative were the sections that dealt with the complicated racial and socioeconomic dynamics of Brazilian sex tourism, and how the structures of capitalism are connected with them. Continue reading