Anna R. Kirkland has been appointed director of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, effective Sept. 1.
Kirkland, who served as IRWG’s associate director from 2014-17, is an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, and is professor of women’s studies and of political science.
She also is directing the Science, Technology and Society Program for 2017-18, is a member of U-M’s Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, and is a committee member for the National Academies of Science, Medicine and Engineering panel charged with producing a report on the impacts of sexual harassment in academia.
IRWG is an interdisciplinary academic unit of the U-M Office of Research that supports research on women, gender, and sexuality that is broadly inclusive of the creative and performing arts as well as the humanities, social sciences, and the sciences.
As director, Kirkland will be responsible for overall management of the unit, and will lead the development and execution of a strategic plan, recruit faculty from across campus to collaborate in research and scholarship related to the mission of IRWG, and mentor junior faculty.
“I look forward to assuming this role at a time when gender research could not be of more critical importance to society,” Kirkland said.
“Our researchers are working on such issues as gender and sexual orientation in the opioid epidemic, transgender health care discrimination, and sexual assault on college campuses, and we are committed to ensuring that our important conclusions reach policy makers and scholars nationwide.”
Kirkland is the author of “Vaccine Court: The Law and Politics of Injury,” “Fat Rights: Dilemmas of Difference and Personhood,” and co-editor with Jonathan Metzl of “Against Health: How Health Became the New Morality.”
Her current research focuses on politics and implementation of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act that protects patients from discrimination in health care settings. Kirkland teaches courses on gender and the law, health policy, and debates between conservatives and feminists.
“With her notable contributions to her field, her widely recognized teaching skills, her administrative experience, and her record of service to the U-M community, I have great confidence that Anna Kirkland will provide outstanding leadership for IRWG,” said S. Jack Hu, vice president for research.