Anna Kirkland is an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan Law School and the Kim Lane Scheppele Collegiate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA).
She holds courtesy appointments in LSA’s Department of Sociology and Department of Political Science as well as the School of Public Health’s Department of Health Management and Policy. She is also an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and served as director of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender from 2017 to 2022.
Kirkland is a sociolegal scholar working on the relationships between health, law, and rights in the contemporary US. Her recently published work (funded by the National Science Foundation) is about the implementation and politics of Section 1557, the nondiscrimination clause of the Affordable Care Act, with a focus on rights protections for gender identity and insurance coverage and access. Her book manuscript, Health Care Civil Rights: How Discrimination Law Fails Patients, examines civil rights protections from discrimination in the American health care system and in health care interactions with a focus on gender identity discrimination.
She is a co-PI with Gary Harper of the School of Public Health on a five-year R25 training grant from the National Institute of Mental Health and the Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research, which funds Student Opportunities for AIDS/HIV Research. She is a member of the University’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).
Kirkland is the author of Vaccine Court: The Law and Politics of Injury (New York University Press, 2016) and Fat Rights: Dilemmas of Difference and Personhood (New York University Press, 2008). She also is co-editor with Jonathan Metzl of Vanderbilt University of Against Health: How Health Became the New Morality (New York University Press, 2010) and with Marie-Andree Jacob of Keele University, UK, of Research Handbook on Sociolegal Studies of Medicine and Health (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2020). Her next book will be Health Care Civil Rights: How Discrimination Law Fails Patients.
In 2019, Kirkland served as director of graduate studies and in 2011-2013 as director of undergraduate studies for the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, where she teaches courses on the law and health policy. She also served as director, from 2017 to 2018, and undergraduate director, from 2014 to 2016, of the Science, Technology, and Society Program.