Anna Kirkland


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Professional Title

Kim Lane Scheppele Collegiate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies


College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA)
Health Management and Policy
Political Science
Women's & Gender Studies


Anna Kirkland, J.D., Ph.D., is Kim Lane Scheppele Collegiate Professor of Women's and Gender Studies and holds courtesy appointments in Sociology, Political Science, and Health Management and Policy. She served as IRWG’s Director from 2017 to 2022. She is currently the co-director of the NIH-funded Student Opportunities for AIDS/HIV Research (SOAR) program. 

Prof. Kirkland is a member of Michigan’s Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation and served as a committee member for the National Academies of Science, Medicine, and Engineering panel that produced Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (National Academies Press, June 2018).

Prof. Kirkland has been funded by the National Science Foundation for her research on the implementation and politics of Section 1557, the non-discrimination clause of the Affordable Care Act, with a focus on transgender healthcare rights and insurance coverage and access. She is writing a book about civil rights in healthcare contexts in the contemporary U.S. She is the co-PI with Prof. Gary Harper of IRWG’s 5 year, $1.2 million grant, “Pipeline to Graduate Education and Careers in Behavioral and Social Science Research for URM Undergraduates: Addressing HIV in Sexual and Gender Minority Communities,” funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research (OBSSR). Prof. Kirkland is also a collaborator on grant proposals with faculty from Michigan Medicine and the College of Engineering.

Prof. Kirkland is the author of Vaccine Court: The Law and Politics of Injury (New York University Press, 2016), Fat Rights: Dilemmas of Difference and Personhood (New York University Press, 2008), co-editor with Dr. Jonathan Metzl (Vanderbilt University) of Against Health: How Health Became the New Morality (New York University Press, 2010), and co-editor with Prof. Marie-Andree Jacob from Keele University, UK of Research Handbook on Sociolegal Studies of Medicine and Health (Edward Elgar Publishing, in press). She has recently published opinion pieces in the New England Journal of Medicine and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America as well as research articles in Vaccine, Law and Society Review, Transgender Health, and Social Science and Medicine.

Prof. Kirkland served as Director of Graduate Studies (2019) and Director of Undergraduate Studies (2011-2013) for the department of Women’s and Gender Studies as well as Director (2017-2018) and Undergraduate Director (2014-2016) of the Science, Technology, and Society Program. She teaches courses on gender and the law and health policy.

Research Interests

social sciences
mixed methods
qualitative research
sexual harassment/gender harassment
violence (sexual/gender/other)