Judith Williams

Judith Williams

Assistant Professor, Anthropology

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Judith Williams is a cultural anthropologist, researcher and public intellectual whose academic expertise focuses on the evaluation, analysis, and disruption of structural inequalities in US foodways. Her research uses an intersectional framework to explore the construct of racial hierarchies within US restaurant and foodservice labor, with special attention paid to the role of whiteness in anti-Black perspectives, behaviors and ideologies. An evangelist of community based participatory research (CBPR), Dr. Williams is adept at collaborative, multi-modal research design, execution, and analysis. Research methods include PhotoVoice, interviews, focus groups, oral histories and cultural domain analysis. In addition to her academic teaching and research, Dr. Williams is a former chef and caterer with extensive consulting experience in cross-cultural hospitality training and business development for medium to large, international, hotels and resorts.

Honors & Awards

  • American Anthropological Association (AAA), The OpEd Project, 2020
  • McKnight Doctoral Fellowship, Florida International University, 2015-2021
  • American Ethnological Society, Diversity Travel Grant, 2019
  • McKnight Doctoral Field Work Grant, 2019
  • McKnight Doctoral Travel Grant, 2019 & 2018
  • Florida International University (FIU), School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)
  • Graduate Travel Grant, 2017 & 2018
  • FIU, Global & Sociocultural Studies Travel Grant, 2017 & 2018


  • Ph.D., 2021, Global and Sociocultural Studies, Florida International University
  • MA., 2019, Global and Sociocultural Studies, Florida International University
  • MS., 2012, Hospitality Management, Florida International University
  • BS., 1995, Hospitality Management, Florida International University
  • AOS., 1993, Culinary Arts, Johnson & Wales University


Research Interests

  • Racial Equity
  • Critical Black Foodways
  • Anthropology of Food and Labor
  • Whiteness
  • Intersectionality
  • Black Feminism
  • African Diasporic Communities from the Caribbean and Latin America


  • Williams, J. (2020). The Mango Gang and New World Cuisine: White power, privilege and race in the commodification of Latin-American and Afro-Caribbean foods. In H. Garth & A. Reese (Eds.), Black food matters: Centering Black ways of knowing in the wake of food justice. University of Minnesota Press;Op-Ed:
  • Williams, J. (June 4, 2019). Following the Proud Boys incident, Miami’s restaurant industry needs to address racism. Miami Herald.