Franciska Coleman

Visiting Assistant Professor
Primary office:
Green Hall


Franciska Coleman is an interdisciplinary scholar whose work draws upon democratic theory, literacy theory and constitutional law. As a literacy theorist, her work focused on the social justice implications of how students were taught to read and interpret texts, with particular attention to the discourses and literacies that were excluded in dominant social constructions of knowledge. As a constitutional scholar, her work addresses a similar issue, namely the social justice implications of hegemony in the constitutional interpretative community and the effects of the marginalization of transgressive constitutional discourses on the self-governing capability of vulnerable groups. Her current scholarship focuses on discourses of hegemony and contestation in norm setting around police violence, offensive speech, and religious freedom, with particular attention to the tensions between the discursive marginalization of vulnerable communities and government by consent. 

Coleman is a strong advocate for citizen engagement in governance, and while in Korea, worked to help high school and undergraduate students improve their political literacy. Her efforts in this regard included giving guest lectures on political literacy at Academic Decathlon competitions, partnering with high schools to provide civic participation experiences to their students, and designing courses to engage undergraduate students in administrative rule-makings. She also worked closely with the Korean government on several initiatives, such as international roundtables on offensive speech held by the Korean Communication Standards Commission and efforts by the Korean Legislation Research Institute to make Korean statutes more accessible to foreign communities. 

Coleman taught American Constitutional Law in South Korea from 2011-2017, and held a Visiting Scholar appointment at Harvard Law School during the Spring of 2018. Prior to her time in Korea, she worked as an associate in the litigation and appellate practice groups at Covington & Burling in Washington, DC. Earlier in her career, she served as an intern in the U.S. State Department’s Office of the Legal Advisor, a researcher at the South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional Law, and a Teach for America corps member. 

Coleman received her J.D. from Harvard Law School and her PhD in Literacy, Culture and International Education from the University of Pennsylvania. While studying at these institutions, she was a recipient of the competitive AAUW Selected Professions Fellowship and Fontaine Fellowship.

Courses Taught:

  • Constitutional Law 
  • Torts


Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2011; J.D., Harvard Law School, 2008; M.Ed., Texas A&M University, 2002; B.A., Texas A&M University, 1998


Constitutional Law, Torts

Career History

University of Kansas School of Law, Visiting Assistant Professor, 2018-present; Harvard Law School, Visiting Scholar, 2018; Yonsei University Law School, Assistant Professor, 2015-2017; Hanyang University Law School, Assistant Professor, 2011-2014; Covington & Burling, LLP, Litigation Associate, 2008-2011; U.S. Department of State, Office of Legal Advisor Summer Intern, 2007; South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional Law, Researcher, 2007


American Association of University Women, American Society of Comparative Law, District of Columbia Bar, International Association of Constitutional Law, International Society of Public Law, New York Bar

Selected Publications

  • Quasi-Entrenched Living Statutes: Creating a Multicultural Rights Regime in QUASI-CONSTITUTIONALITY AND CONSTITUTIONAL STATUTES: FORMS, FUNCTIONS, AND APPLICATIONS (Richard Albert and Joel Colon-Rios eds., forthcoming 2018).
  • They Should Be Fired: The Social Regulation of Free Speech in the US, 16 FIRST AMEND. L. REV. 1, 1-38 (2018).
  • Deliberative Communitarianism: A “Both-And” Solution to the Growing Conflict Between the Religious Right and Gay Rights, 10 NORTHEASTASIAN L. REV. 1, 889–919 (2017).
  • Improving E-Participation and Democratic Legitimacy through Administrative Rulemaking in Korea and the US, 6 J. L. & LEGIS. 7–42 (2016).
  • Democracy and the Other: The Inverse Relationship Between Majority Rule and a Heterogeneous Citizenry, 117 W. VA. L. REV. 1153–1182 (2015).
  • Separate Is Inherently Unequal, Unless You’re Religious: The Peculiar Constitutionalization of Religious Segregation, 32 BUFF. PUB. INT. L.J. 65–101 (2014).
  • Bridging the Gap Between Policy and Practice: Using Negotiated Rulemaking to Build Consensus on Assessment in Special Education, 22 AM. U.J. GENDER SOC. POL’Y & L. 693–720 (2014).
  • Minority Rights: Using Representation Reinforcement to Protect the Civil Liberties of Conscientious Objectors in Korea, 29 HANYANG L. REV. 625–648 (2012).