Anna Kirkland

Color photography of Anna Kirkland
Job Title: 
Arthur F. Thurnau Professor; Associate Professor of Women's Studies and Political Science (by courtesy); Associate Director, IRWG
Office Address Line 1: 
1136 Lane Hall
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Anna Kirkland, J.D., Ph.D., is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Associate Professor of Women’s Studies and Political Science, and Associate Director of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender (IRWG) at the University of Michigan.

Her research has focused on the interactions between identity categories, discrimination, and health. Primarily situated in the law and society tradition, Professor Kirkland also works within science studies, disability studies, and gender studies using theoretical and interpretive methods. 

Her book Vaccine Court: The Law and Politics of Injury was recently published by New York University Press in December 2016. In Vaccine Court, Kirkland explores how activists and government actors come to know, identify, and compensate for vaccine injuries, and what recent debates over vaccine safety reveal about democratic engagement with volatile scientific questions in the contemporary United States. Recent articles include also “Power and Persuasion in the Vaccine Debates: An Analysis of Political Efforts and Outcomes in the States, 1998-2012,” “Critical Approaches to Wellness,” “Credibility Battles in the Autism Litigation,” “The Legitimacy of Vaccine Critics: What’s Left after Autism?,” and “The Environmental Account of Obesity:  A Case for Feminist Skepticism.”

She is the author of Fat Rights: Dilemmas of Difference and Personhood (New York University Press, 2008) and co-editor with Jonathan Metzl of Against Health: How Health Became the New Morality (New York University Press, 2010). 

Kirkland recently received a National Science Foundation grant to study the organizational handling of rights claims against sex discrimination in health care settings under the Affordable Care Act.


color photograph of Sarah Fenstermaker
Director, IRWG and Professor of Women's Studies and Sociology