Anna Kirkland

Visiting Associate Research Scholar

Home Institution, Women’s Studies and Political Science at the University of Michigan

LAPA Fellow, 2010-2011

LAPA Fellow

 411 Robertson Hall

 Curriculum Vitae



Anna Kirkland is an associate professor of Women’s Studies and Political Science at the University of Michigan. She earned her J.D. (2001) and Ph.D. (Jurisprudence and Social Policy, 2003) from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research has focused on the construction of the legal categories that receive civil rights protections in various jurisdictions of the United States as well as the ways in which ordinary people understand and negotiate their identities through the law. Her first book, Fat Rights: Dilemmas of Difference and Personhood, was published in 2008 by New York University Press. Professor Kirkland has also published work on fat acceptance advocates and their perceptions of law, fatness as disability, transgendered plaintiffs who win their cases, transgender discrimination as sex discrimination, and the moral, racial, gendered, and political features of the “obesogenic environment” account of population weight gains. With Michigan colleague Jonathan Metzl, Kirkland edited the forthcoming volume Against Health: Has Health Become the New Morality? (New York University Press, 2010). While at Princeton, she will work on a second book examining vaccination law, politics and activism. The new research focuses on the Autism Omnibus Proceedings before the federal vaccine compensation court, in which the Special Masters found that vaccines did not cause autism spectrum disorder in children. Kirkland is also studying movement opposition to the rulings, state-level vaccine controversies and regulation, and the interaction between vaccine safety advocates and policymakers at the federal level.