Caitlin Merlin

Caitlin Merlin

Higher Degree by Research Candidate

School of Humanities

Faculty of Arts


Caitlin is a PhD candidate in the History Department at the University of Adelaide. Her research focuses on the impacts and responses of New York City artistic communities to the HIV/AIDS crisis, through case studies of non-profit organisations. She is also generally interested in theatre studies, 20th Century social movements, and the growing application of queer theory in historical contexts.

My research focuses on  the impacts and responses of the New York City artistic and theatrical communities to the HIV/AIDS crisis, through case studies of community-led non-profit organisations. This research is therefore a natural progression and extension of my first-class honours thesis, “We Won’t Die Secret Deaths Anymore” which analysed several major and minor productions as well as charity performances created in response to the HIV/AIDS crisis in New York during the 1980s and 1990s.

In relation to my wider topics of study, I am interested in the cultural progression of the expression of gender and sexuality, 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.


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