Prof. Dr. Irina Catrinel Crăciun teaches and does research at the University of Babes-Bolyai in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Her research interests include health communication and health in old age as well as the development and evaluation of prevention programs with a focus on gender differences. At Freie Universität she is working with the Qualitative Social and Education Research division at the Department of Education and Psychology.
In addition to her inaugural lecture, Crăciun is teaching a practice session at Freie Universität Berlin during the 2015/16 winter semester as an introduction to qualitative research with case studies from gender studies and communication on health. In addition, she will give a lecture on November 26, 2015, as part of an international research colloquium – organized by the Interdisciplinary Center for Gender Studies (IZG) and the Center for the Promotion of Women and Gender Studies (ZEFG). The lecture will be followed by a discussion.
In her inaugural lecture, Crăciun will refer to the findings from a research project, "Resources for Positive Aging," that she carried out between 2012 and 2014 at Freie Universität Berlin. The project was supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Currently, Crăciun is pursuing two research projects. In one study she is investigating the prospects of unemployed migrants from Turkey and Romania for aging and their health in old age. In another project she is studying the experiences of women who care for seriously ill relatives until their deaths.
Gender equality and the promotion of gender research have been firmly anchored in Freie Universität's self-understanding for more than three decades. The topics are therefore an important component of the university's institutional development strategy, which won the university special funding in the German government's Excellence Initiative in 2012. Within this context Freie Universität Berlin established the International Network Professorship for Gender Studies. It has been advertised annually since 2013 and is awarded to an outstanding researcher in the field of gender studies. The professorship is a way of anchoring the international nature of gender research at Freie Universität. During the 2013/14 winter semester the visiting professorship was held by the Canadian political scientist and expert on Latin America, Prof. Dr. Verónica Schild from Western University London, Ontario. During the past winter semester it was held by the Iranian archaeologist Leila Papoli Yazdi.