Kira recently earned a Ph.D. in Religion and American Culture at BU. Her dissertation, “Pure Bodies, Sacred Authority: A Religious History of Vaccine Hesitancy in the United States,” examines how vaccine skepticism is constructed upon varied beliefs and practices related to the human body, as well as the social roles of mothers and children. It traces religio-cultural meaning-making about vaccination historically, spanning from the colonial era to the present. This project is under contract with Princeton University Press. Broadly, Kira’s research explores the intersections of American religions, health, politics, consumerism, gender, and authority. She has published in Nova Religio, Religion & American Culture, Religion & Politics, the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post. Kira graduated magna cum laude with Honors in Religious Studies and History from Brown University in 2008. 

Dr. Kieffer is a Lecturer in the Boston University Department of Religion.

To learn more about Kira’s work, visit or email her at