Erika Robb Larkins

Credentials: Brazil

2008 SKJ Fellow

Erika Robb is a doctoral candidate in the department of Anthropology, with a Master’s in Latin American Studies from the University of Chicago. She works in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she is beginning dissertation research comparing two types of travel to that city: sex tourism and favela (slum) tourism. Sex and favela tourism are connected spatially, as sex workers often reside in the favela and descend to the tourist zones for work, as well as conceptually, as the social conditions that create the favela are the very same that motivate some women to enter sex work. Both of these tourisms offer an encounter with “authentic Brazilianness” but simultaneously express neocolonial dynamics of power with the “West,” namely the United States. With her SKJ International Internship award, Erika will spend the summer living in the favela of Rocinha and interning with the organization Dois Irmãos, teaching English and art classes to local children in the slum and working with NGO leadership to create a socially aware form of favela tourism.

Read on about Erika’s fellowship experience here.