Caitlin Merlin

Caitlin Merlin

Higher Degree by Research Candidate

School of Humanities

Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Economics

Caitlin Merlin is a PhD candidate in the Department of Historical and Classical Studies at the University of Adelaide. Their work is at the intersection of many fields, including but not limited to cultural history, theatrical studies, art history, and queer theory. Her current research looks at artistic community development of specialised non-profit organisations in New York City during the initial AIDS crisis.

My current PhD research investigates the responses of New York City artistic communities and connected community non-profit organisations to the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s and 1990s. This work extends from my 2020 First Class Honours thesis, We Won’t Die Secret Deaths Anymore: The New York City Theatrical Community’s Response to the 1980s and 1990s HIV/AIDS Crisis, which analysed several major and minor productions as well as charity performances created in response to the HIV/AIDS crisis in New York during this period. My current research seeks to highlight this period within the broader understanding of inter-community interactions through self-developed support structures, and societal reflections of isolated communities at times of duress.

In my wider topics of study, I am interested in the cultural progression of gender and sexuality expression, the broad history of theatre and its connection to political and social contexts and movements particularly in New York City, and the community and cultural natures of majority youth-led social movements. Minoring in music studies at an undergraduate level, I also have significant interest in a variety of connections between history and music, with the progression of both popular music and musical theatre throughout the 20th Century being of particular focus.

University of Adelaide Research Scholarship: 2023-2024, payment adjusted annually

Adelaide Grant Research School Travel Grant: 2022, $2500

Tutoring and Marking:

HIST1108: Empires in World History, 2022-present

HIST1109: Revolutions that Changed the World, 2022-present

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