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Kristin Francoeur


Research Interests


Kristin N. Francoeur entered the program in Religious Studies at Indiana University – Bloomington in August 2009. She is working toward a PhD in Religions of South Asia, minor in Gender Studies. She is currently based in New Delhi, India, while conducting research for her dissertation as a Fulbright-Nehru scholar, with additional support from the Dhar India Studies Program Felix G. Ilarraz Research Travel Fellowship and the IU Graduate Student and Professional Organization Research Fellowship. From August 2015 she will receive support from a Mellon Graduate Dissertation Fellowship.

Her dissertation centers on the work of feminist secular NGOs in north India that address human rights issues through the lens of gender and sexuality. These NGOs maintain unique positions at the intersections of feminisms; neo-liberalisms; sociocultural and socio-religious norms; and relationships with scholars, activists, grassroots organizations, donors, and legal and medical fields. Building on recent scholarship that suggests NGOs should more prominently consider and incorporate religious factors in “development” project design and implementation and approaches to gender mainstreaming, Kristin’s dissertation examines the ways in which these types of organizations and related civil society formations act as agents of discourse in the fields of gender and human rights.

Concurrently with her research, Kristin is serving as a consultant with the organization CREA in a collaborative relationship. CREA is an international feminist human rights organization based in New Delhi. Kristin is assisting on an initiative for abortion, gender, and rights that will create a forum for dialogue, capacity building, and strategizing future approaches to gender-biased sex-selection and women’s access to safe abortion.

Kristin’s previous fellowships include grants for language study from the American Institute of Indian Studies with which she completed two Hindi language programs in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India in 2011 and 2012, and an Urdu language program during the 2013-2014 academic year in Lucknow, UP, India. Prior to enrolling at Indiana University, in May 2009 she graduated summa cum laude from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, with a B.A. in Religious Studies and English Literature, minor in Psychology.


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