Caitlyn is a student from Tennessee majoring in South Asia Studies and tentatively minoring in History and Germanic Languages. Her research interests broadly center on modern South Asian history, including topics such as historical linguistics, state-making and nationalism, and religious conflict in borderland regions. Her current research project touches upon these interests, specifically focusing on how language operates as a tool to define, integrate, and divide the state in the postcolonial cultural landscape. At Penn, she is affiliated with Students4Rohingya, a student organization that aims to educate the public about the Rohingya human rights crisis, and Penn German Society, a group that aims to provide a platform for contemporary issues in German-speaking countries. She also works as a Resident Advisor at Hill College House and as a college preparation and career readiness coach at the Netter Center. In her free time, Caitlyn enjoys playing the clarinet, exploring Wikipedia, and hanging out with her friends.
Wolf Humanities Center Undergraduate Fellow
2021—2022 Forum on Migration
Chair, Wolf Undergraduate Humanities Forum
South Asia Studies
Linguistic Migration and National Identity: A Study on Bangla in Bangladesh
This project investigates the lived legacy of Bangla amid the flow of people and languages to and from Bangladesh in the post-1971 cultural landscape. Using a migration theory backdrop, primary- and secondary-source literary materials, and audiovisual sources, I will explore how the migration of people and languages construct national ideals, the culture surrounding national identity, and how Bangla fits into the lived experience of Bengali national identity from the Bangladesh Liberation War to the modern-day, emphasizing how Bangla operates as a marginalized, a marginalizing, and a coalescing force within and beyond Bangladesh’s borders that continues to shape its cultural politic today.