Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Contemporary South Asia

Brian Horton

PhD Candidate in Anthropology
Summer Fellow 2013


Brian A. Horton is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Brown University. Brian’s research explores several intersecting sites of inquiry between queer anthropology, queer theory and the anthropology of India: popular culture, politics and ethics, state power, pleasure, fun, and violence. His dissertation project Shimmers of the Fabulous: Reinventions of Queer Life and Politics in Mumbai examines how LGBTQ+ people both within and beyond the formal registers of activist politics—at times in spaces thought of as elite, frivolous, or even non-respectable (such as queer parties, cruising spots, and in virtual spaces)—deploy fun and pleasure to engage in valuable ethical and political work. This project highlights productive, messy, and tense ways of living; about feeling good as a mode of queer refusal and as an endurance of present precarities that shape LGBTQ+ visibility in India.  His next project Cannibalizing Race: Gossip, Rumor, and the Queer Life of  Racism in Urban India profiles African immigrants living in Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore to document and theorize anti-black racism in India. This project traces how fabricated narratives of African moral and ethical deficiency become viral, digital avenues to consume racial others as subjects who queer (and disrupt) the very terms that define autochthonous subjects as Indian citizens. Brian earned is BA in Political Science, Geography, and French from Texas Tech University. Before coming to Brown he taught 6th grade English Language Arts in Houston, Texas.