In this talk, Dr. Ericka Dunbar will chart a sexual trafficking enterprise in the first two chapters of the book of Esther. Sexual exploitation begins in chapter one, when the king endeavors to subject Vashti to the sexualized gaze of his male guests. It is then intensified in chapter two when virgin girls throughout the king’s provinces are gathered and taken to the king’s palace for the purpose of sex. Attention is given to the role of intersectionality in the exploitation of these girls and women.
Dr. Ericka Shawndricka Dunbar lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and teaches at Payne Theological Seminary. She received her doctorate in Biblical Studies (Old Testament) in May 2020 from Drew University. Her dissertation, titled “Trafficking Hadassah: An Africana Reading of Collective Trauma, Memory, and Identity in the Book of Esther and the African Diaspora,” is a dialogical cultural study of sexual trafficking in the book of Esther and during the Transatlantic Slave Trade.