Karen Laughlin, who currently serves as Dean of Undergraduate Studies at Florida State University, also holds a tenured position as Associate Professor of English. She received her B.A. from Duke University, where she got her first real taste of the South, and she was lucky enough to spend a semester of her undergraduate years in Aix-en-Provence, France on a study abroad program. 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 her M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Laughlin came to FSU in 1982 and held a joint appointment in English and Humanities for several years. Her teaching interests include Modern and American Drama, women's studies, film, and critical theory, and she has a particular interest in the plays of Samuel Beckett. She was awarded a Teaching Incentive Award in 1994 and again in 1996. Her publications include a collection of essays on Theatre and Feminist Aesthetics and articles and book chapters on playwrights such as Bertolt Brecht, Beth Henley, Susan Glaspell, and Megan Terry as well as, of course, Beckett. Before accepting the position of Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Laughlin served as chair of several Faculty Senate Committees (including both the Undergraduate and Graduate Policy Committees) as well as President of the FSU Faculty Senate. As Dean, she is committed to ensuring that the University continues to give a high priority to undergraduate education and to helping to provide FSU's undergraduate students with the richest possible educational experience.