In Memoriam: Karen L. Laughlin, 1951-2020

Karen Laughlin, an associate professor of English and dean of undergraduate studies at Florida State University, died on May 4 at her home in Tallahassee, just two days after participating in the online graduation ceremonies held by the university. She was 70 years old.

John Thrasher, president of Florida State Univerity, stated that Dr. Laughlin “was committed to ensuring that the university continued to give a high priority to undergraduate education and to helping provide FSU’s undergraduate students with the richest possible educational experience.”

Dr. Laughlin came to FSU in 1982 and held a joint appointment in English and humanities for several years. She specialized in modern and American drama, critical theory, and women’s studies. Dr. Laughlin served as head of the undergraduate education for the past 17 years. She was the co-editor of Theatre and Feminist Aesthetics (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1995).

Professor Laughlin received her bachelor’s degree from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and studied abroad in France. After graduating, she returned to France on a Fulbright Fellowship that enabled her to teach English at a high school in Limoges. She then went to Canada and earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in comparative literature at the University of Toronto.

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