Anna Kirkland is Associate Professor of Women's Studies and holds a courtesy appointment in Political Science. 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 first book, Fat Rights: Dilemmas of Difference and Personhood, was published in 2008 by New York University Press. She is the co-editor with Jonathan Metzl of Against Health: How Health Became the New Morality (New York University Press, 2010). Her published articles analyze:
- Rights consciousness in the fat acceptance movement,
- The environmental approach to anti-obesity policy,
- Transgendered plaintiffs who win their cases,
- Transgender discrimination as sex discrimination,
- Whether fatness fits into disability law and advocacy, and
- What accounts of diversity appear in the required Michigan undergraduate application essay on diversity.
Professor Kirkland is currently working on a new book on the politics of health and knowledge as seen through the federal vaccine safety and injury compensation system in the contemporary U.S. Two new articles analyze the place of vaccine critics in policy making and the credibility struggles in the Omnibus Autism Proceedings. She teaches courses on gender, sexuality, politics and law in Women's Studies and Political Science.
“Credibility Battles in the Autism Litigation,”Social Studies of Science, Vol. 42, Issue 2 (April, 2012): 237–261.
"The Legitimacy of Vaccine Critics: What’s Left after Autism?,” Journal of Health Policy, Politics and Law, Vol. 37, No. 1 (February, 2012).
(with Ben Hansen), “’How Do I Bring Diversity?’: Race and Class in the College Admissions Essay,” Law & Society Review, Vol. 45, No. 1 (2011): 103-138.
“The Environmental Account of Obesity: A Case for Feminist Skepticism,” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Vol. 36, No. 2 (Winter 2011): 411-436.
“Revisiting Rights across Contexts: Fat, Health, and Antidiscrimination Law,” Studies in Law, Politics and Society, Vol. 48 (Fall 2009): 121-145.
“Think of the Hippopotamus: Rights Consciousness in the Fat Acceptance Movement,” Law & Society Review, Vol. 42, No. 2 (June 2008): 397-431.
“What’s at Stake in Transgender Discrimination as Sex Discrimination?” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Vol. 32, No. 1 (Autumn 2006): 83-111.
“What’s at Stake in Fatness as a Disability?,” Disability Studies Quarterly, Vol. 26, No. 1 (Winter 2006).