I began my scholarly career with a dissertation (Columbia Univ. 1971) on connections between William Wordsworth and Henry David Thoreau. Later I published on William Blake, Margaret Fuller, George Orwell, and Emily Brontë. Another interest of mine is the subject of ethics in language, especially the relationship between language, prejudice, and violence. I contributed a chapter entitled “Group Defamation: From Language to Thought to Action” to a book entitled “Group Defamation and Freedom of Speech: The Relationship Between Language and Violence,” eds. Monroe H. Freedman and Eric M. Freedman (Greenwood Press, 1995). As a long-time member of the MLA, I thought our group should address the matter of intolerance and bigotry on college campuses and was instrumental in establishing first the Committee Against Campus Bigotry and later the Committee on Diversity and Tolerance.
As a retiree, I have established a Poetry Circle in my community and serve on the Board and as Secretary of the Florida Retirees Chapter of the Profession Staff Congress, City Univ. of NY.

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    Laraine R. Fergenson

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