Katherine Franke

Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Katherine Franke

Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Katherine Franke is the Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Columbia University, where she also directs the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law and is the faculty director of the Law, Rights, and Religion Project. She is a member of the Executive Committee for the Institute for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality, and the Center for Palestine Studies.  She is among the nation's leading scholars writing on law, religion and rights, drawing from feminist, queer, and critical race theory.

Her most recent book, Repair: Redeeming the Promise of Abolition (Haymarket  2019) makes the case for racial reparations today by telling the story of experiments in South Carolina and Mississippi in the 1860s where freed people were given land explicitly as reparation for enslavement and then had it taken away by the government. Wedlocked: The Perils of Marriage Equality, NYU Press, 2015, considered the costs of winning marriage for same-sex couples today and for African-Americans at the end of the Civil War. Franke was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2011 to undertake research for Wedlocked. In addition to her work at the Law School, she works regularly in Palestine, most recently serving as an academic mentor for the human rights faculty at Al Quds University in East Jerusalem. She also chairs the board of directors of the Center for Constitutional Rights, based in New York City.

Before coming to the Law School, Franke was an associate professor of law at Fordham Law School and the University of Arizona College of Law. From 1990 to 1991, she was the executive director of the National Lawyers Guild. Prior to that, she worked for the New York City Commission on Human Rights and founded the AIDS and Employment Project.

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Professor Franke's last name is pronounced "Frank-ee"

  • J.S.D., Yale Law School, 1998
  • LL.M., Yale Law School, 1993
  • J.D., Northeastern University School of Law, 1986
  • B.A., Barnard College, 1981


Works in Progress

Scholarly Articles                


Additional publications may be found on Professor Franke's personal page, here, and on Professor Franke's SSRN Page.


Remarks and Testimony
C. Racial Justice Advocacy Workshop
Critical Legal Thought
Gender Justice
Legal Methods II: Social Justice Advocacy
S. Law, Rights, and Religion
S. Legalizing Social Movements
S. Racial Justice Advocacy Workshop