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Anthony Di Fiore, Chair SAC 4.102, Mailcode C3200 78712 • 512-471-4206

This presentation explores the circulation of myths of black hypersexuality within the...

Mon, February 16, 2009 • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM • EPS 1.128

Anxious Pleasures: Race and the Sexual Economies of Transnational Tourism in Salvador, Brazil

This presentation explores the circulation of myths of black hypersexuality within the transnational tourism industry in Salvador. By focusing on tourism advertisements and engaged ethnography with a local sex workers’ association, this talk addresses three major aspects of my broader research project. First, it presents a critical analysis of visual representations of Bahia in postcards that rely on images of eroticized black bodies to attract a particular kind of tourist. Second, it moves beyond images to ask how black Bahian women and men negotiate the ways in which they are characterized as always already sexually available for foreign tourists. Finally, it ethnographically examines the racial politics of the local sex workers’ association in Salvador to show how “controlling images” of black woman as sexual and manual laborers affect the politics of identification as a sex worker. Embracing theoretical perspectives that draw from black feminism, sexuality studies, queer theory, and transnational feminism, the goal of this talk is to push further critical discussions of race and sexuality in the context of the African Diaspora.

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