Dr. Michele Back is an Associate Professor of World Languages Education at the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education, where she works with teacher candidates in ASL, Spanish, French, Latin, and Mandarin Chinese. She received her PhD in Second Language Acquisition from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and has held academic positions at the University of California, Riverside and George Mason University. Dr. Back has taught Spanish and Portuguese in K-16 schools in California and Wisconsin. She also worked in Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru, and Mozambique writing travel guides, teaching EFL, and developing programs for the U.S. Foreign Service.
Dr. Back’s research interests include world language teacher development and professionalization; the cultivation of global citizenship; the intersections of race and discourse; the role of discourse in constructing identities; developing a pedagogy of symbolic competence; and the role of translanguaging and multilingual ecology in transforming schools and other communities of practice. She has published articles in the Modern Language Journal, Foreign Language Annals, TESOL Quarterly, the Journal of Language and Education, and Teaching and Teacher Education, as well as the book Transcultural Performance: Negotiating Globalized Indigenous Identities (Palgrave, 2015). She has also coedited the books Racialization and Language: Interdisciplinary Perspectives from Perú (Routledge, 2018) and Racismo y lenguaje (PUCP, 2017) with Dr. Virginia Zavala.