Brian Oosthuizen

Research Student

Having completed the MPhil in Development Studies here at ODID, I loved it so much that I chose to stay on for the DPhil. My research examines identity development and expression among LGBTQ+ refugees and forced migrants in Nairobi, Kenya. I’m primarily interested in how the stories and perspectives of my participants help re-shape our thinking about ‘global’ LGBTQ+ identities; challenging long-worn and universalising tropes about queer and trans self-making. I’m also excited about the intersection of this work with emerging studies in the social science of social media, in particular thinking about how LGBTQ+ refugees both instrumentalise social media in the pursuit of self-expression, citizenship, and survival, whilst also thinking about the more nefarious means through which they are made more vulnerable by it.

Outside of the DPhil, I am pursuing a career in UX Research. In 2022, I will begin working at Meta, where I hope to draw upon my research on the DPhil to help shape safer, more inclusive social media platforms.

Other interests include watercolour painting and illustration (see here); spending time with my dog, Cleo; and watching The Great Pottery Throwdown.

'We should not take identity out of the question, we should question identity': Explorin...
Research interests:

Queer and trans refugee and forced migration; queer theory; identity; storytelling; social media and identity; online identities; identity politics