Portrait Photo of Franciska Coleman

Franciska Coleman

Assistant Professor; Associate Director of East Asian Legal Studies Program

Social Sciences | Law School

Franciska Coleman is an Assistant Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Wisconsin Law School and the Associate Director of the East Asian Legal Studies Center. She is an interdisciplinary scholar, whose work draws upon political theory, critical discourse analysis, and constitutional law.
Professor Coleman’s current research focuses on the constitutional implications of the United States’ eventual demographic shift to a minority-majority society. Her current work also explores “cancel culture” as a byproduct of the American constitutional choice to rely on the social rather than legal regulation of speech, with particular attention to the “cancelling” of speakers who are members of racial or ethnic minorities.
Prior to joining the faculty of UW Law School, Professor Coleman was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Washington University in St. Louis and also held a Visiting Scholar appointment at Harvard Law School.


  • This talk is a talk primarily for high school students. It takes as its beginning point the Jeffersonian paraphrase “An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.” It seeks to define what it means to be an “educated citizen” using my own theory of political literacy.
  • This talk is based on my article: They Should be Fired: The Social Regulation of Free Speech in the U.S. This talk addresses the relationship between the First Amendment, the social regulation of speech and “cancel culture.” In the process, it addresses the impact of social media technologies on our understandings of and assumptions about free speech as well as why community control of speech norms has devolved into exercises of domination.
  • This talk is based on my article: Between the Facts and Norms of Police Violence: Using Discourse Models to Improve Deliberations Around Law Enforcement. It explores why police violence against vulnerable communities delegitimizes the police and by extension the state. It also discusses three factors that determine whether police-community dialogues, undertaken in the aftermath of police violence and/or misconduct, will be effective in addressing community concerns and in restoring the legitimacy of the policing apparatus.