Caitlin Ring Carlson, PhD

Caitlin Carlson

Associate Professor

PhD, Media Studies, University of Colorado

Areas of Expertise

First Amendment, Free Expression, Hate Speech


Caitlin Ring Carlson, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Communication Department at Seattle University. She comes to academia with a professional background in Public Relations. She has a Ph.D. in Media Studies from the University of Colorado. Her primary research interests are in media law and policy as they pertain to new media, freedom of expression and social justice. Her current work focuses on hate speech. She is also interested in women’s freedom of expression, including women’s press freedom and women’s media ownership.

Dr. Carlson has been published in leading academic journals such as Communication Law & Policy, the Journal of Media Ethics, First Amendment Studies, and the Journal of Media Law & Ethics. Her first book, “Hate Speech,” will be published by MIT Press in 2021. Dr. Carlson currently teaches Communication Law, Media Systems, and Strategic Communication Writing. She was named Faculty of the Year by the Class of 2015 and was selected as the Teacher of the Year by the College of Arts and Sciences in 2019. Dr. Carlson founded and oversees the Communication Department’s Alumni Mentorship Program and serves as the Faculty Advisor for the Seattle University Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. She also serves as the Vice Head of the Law & Policy Division of AEJMC.