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Caitlin MacDonald

South Africa & University of Cape Town, 2024

Caitlin Sarah MacDonald is a writer, researcher, and editor interested in the entanglement of ecology and imagination. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, Art History, and English Literature, with distinction, at the University of Cape Town, receiving eight Class Medals for academic achievement. Her Honours in English Language and Literature was awarded in the first class and her thesis, ‘Mouthful of Mud: Unearthing the Anthropocene in Nadine Gordimer's The Conservationist’, broadly argued for the relevance of the apartheid-era dark pastoral to the climate crisis.

Caitlin now works as a researcher at the Bleek and Lloyd Archive, which houses vestiges of extinct and endangered indigenous San languages, stories, relevant portraits, and paintings. Her work is currently focused on providing ‘footholds’ into sensitive ethnographic material and considering the presence of dogs across the archive. She is also the co-author and assistant editor of Clay Formes: Contemporary Clay from South Africa, a book project which surveys the work of thirty significant artists in a collection of lyric essays.

As a soprano in the Cape Town Camerata, Caitlin has performed the work of African composers Tanyaradzwa Tawenga and Hendrick Hoffmeyr in Carnegie Hall, participated in numerous international competitions, and was part of a group that spearheaded the 2023 National Conductors’ Convention, working intimately with world-renown composer, Eriks Essenvalds.

In residence as a Mandela Rhodes Scholar, Caitlin plans to pursue a Master of Philosophy through UCT’s Environmental Humanities South programme, with a focus on South African literature that collapses the forged ontological gap between the human being and its animal and object others.

DecorationCaitlin MacDonald

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