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Personal profile


Elizabeth Burns Coleman studied philosophy at the Australian National University. She was awarded two postdoctoral fellowships, one from the ANU's centre for Cross Cultural Research, and one at Monash across the Communications and Philosophy sections. She has taught legal philosophy, political philosophy, ethics, and philosophy of art at Australian National University, LaTrobe University, Wollongong University, and Monash. She currently teaches a first year unit, Media and Culture, and a third year unit, Communication Ethics, Policy and Law.

Research interests

Elizabeth Burns Coleman's research is informed by a cultural approach to communication and media studies. One of her areas of expertise is communication ethics and freedom of expression. Her research interests cover mediated communication and the public sphere, including communication practices such as trolling, shaming, gossip, as well as taboos and regulation of communication such as blasphemy, and obscenity and hate speech.  A second area of expertise relates to social and cross-cultural aesthetics, and popular culture. She has published on etiquette, fan forums and religion, cultural appropriation and graffiti. 

Supervision interests

  • Trolling, flaming and hate speech
  • Fake news and propaganda
  • Shaming
  • Freedom of expression
  • Cultural appropriation
  • Social aesthetics
  • Art and popular culture


  • Cultural appropriation
  • Blasphemy
  • Civility
  • Politeness
  • Freedom of expression
  • Multiculturalism and diversity
  • Trolling
  • Hate speech
  • Religious communication
  • Social aesthetics

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Research Output 2001 2018

Cross cultural aesthetics and etiquette

Coleman, E. B. 2018 Social Aesthetics and Moral Judgment: Pleasure, Reflection and Accountability. McMahon, J. (ed.). Abingdon Oxon UK: Routledge, p. 180-195 16 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

Cross-cultural aesthetics

Coleman, E. B. 2017 (Accepted/In press) International Encyclopedia of Anthropology: Anthropology Beyond Text. Callan, H. (ed.). New York: Wiley-Blackwell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEncyclopaedia / Dictionary EntryOtherpeer-review

Reading Fitzroy: Social aesthetics in a Melbourne suburb

Coleman, E. B. 2017 Soziale Ästhetik, Atmosphäre, Medialität. Beiträge aus der Ethnologie.: Social Aesthetics, Atmosphere, Mediality. Contributions from Anthropology. Zehmisch , P., Munster , U., Zickgraf, J. & Lang, C. (eds.). Berlin Germany: Lit Verlag, Vol. 66, p. 109-123 14 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

The Facts and Fictions of Religion: Make Believe on Avatar Forums

Coleman, E. B. 2017 In : Journal of Contemporary Religion. 32, 3, p. 369-385 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Between philosophy and art: A collaboration at The Lock-Up, Newcastle

McMahon, J., Coleman, E. B., Macarthur, D., Phillips, J. & Von Sturmer, D. F. 2016 In : The Australasian Journal of Popular Culture. 5, 2 & 3, p. 135-150 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Activities 2009 2017

  • 7 Contribution to conference
  • 4 Public lecture/debate/seminar
  • 3 External research organisation, centre or institute
  • 1 Editorial responsibility

The cultural appropriation tightrope

Coleman, E. (Contributor), Ngaiire (Contributor), Thelma Plum (Contributor), Driller Jet Armstrong (Contributor), Beatrice (Contributor)
30 Nov 2017

Activity: Public lecture/debate/seminar

Five artworks - Five philosophers

Coleman, E. (Contributor), Michael Newall (Contributor), Paul Guyer (Contributor), Cynthia Freeland (Contributor), Jennifer McMahon (Contributor), David Macarthur (Contributor), Robert Sinnerbrink (Contributor), Mohan Matthen (Contributor), Daniel von Sturmer (Contributor), Claire Healy (Contributor), Sean Cordeiro (Contributor)
15 Jul 2017

Activity: Public event

Some artists and philosophers walked into a room

Coleman, E. (Contributor), Jennifer McMahon (Contributor), Sean Lowry (Contributor), Claire Lambe (Contributor), Cate Consandine (Contributor), Robert Sinnerbrink (Contributor), Rowan McNaught (Contributor), Sophie Tackach (Contributor), Edward Colless (Contributor), Kate Just (Contributor), Raafat Ishak (Contributor), Lisa Radford (Contributor), David Macarthur (Contributor), Michael Newall (Contributor), Mohan Matthen (Contributor), Vanessa Godden (Contributor), Geoff Robinson (Contributor), Tessa Laird (Contributor), Andrew Goodman (Contributor), James Phillips (Contributor), Cynthia Freeland (Contributor), Paul Guyer (Contributor), Barb Bolt (Contributor), David Sequeira (Contributor), Kiron Robinson (Contributor), Daniel von Sturmer (Contributor), Justin Clemens (Contributor), Claire Healy (Contributor), Sean Cordeiro (Contributor)
11 Jul 2017

Activity: Public lecture/debate/seminar

Australasian Association of Philosophy

Coleman, E. (Invited speaker)
4 Jul 2017

Activity: Contribution to conference

Contemporary Perspectives on Aesthetic Judgement

Coleman, E. (Invited speaker)
2 Apr 2016

Activity: Contribution to conference

Press / Media

Cultural appropriation - a boomerang by Chanel

Elizabeth Coleman


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Cultural appropriation - Disney's Moana

Elizabeth Coleman


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Freedom of expression, blasphemy and cultural appropriation

Elizabeth Coleman


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment