Laurence De Backer obtained her Master's degree in Spanish and English Linguistics and Literature (2020) at Ghent University. During her Bachelor, she studied one semester at the University of Granada (Spain) and she completed the first semester of her Master's program at the National University of La Plata (Argentina). Laurence is finishing a second Master's in Social and Cultural Anthropology at KU Leuven, in the framework of which she carried out a research stay (6 weeks) hosted by the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (Chile) and the interdisciplinary research collective Núcleo Milenio Arte, Performatividad y Activismo.
After being granted an FWO Fellowship in 2021, she joined the Spanish Linguistics department and started her PhD research project under the joint supervision of Prof. Dr. Renata Enghels and Prof. Dr. Geert Jacobs. Her project tackles the persuasive function of metaphorical language and framing in news media communication, and uses the topic of Latin-American migration in the US written press as its case study. Innovatively, Laurence adopts a holistic approach to pursue this subject, complementing a linguistic focus on media texts with careful and systematic attention to news production and reception.
Laurence’s areas of interest straddle the fields of Linguistics and Anthropology, and include metaphor theory, cognition, news media communication, migration, (de)colonization and futurities, with main research foci on the US and Latin-America as well as on contemporary artivism and social movements.