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Amy J. Bach

Amy J. Bach

Dr. Bach joins the UTEP faculty as an assistant professor of literacy in the College of Education’s Teacher Education Department. As a practitioner and researcher, Dr. Bach has long been committed to working with and within institutions of public education and in the service of historically marginalized and otherwise disadvantaged students. Prior to receiving her doctorate in literacy studies from the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania in 2010, she was a bilingual and English language instructor in public schools in New York City and an adult educator in community-based education programs in Philadelphia. Her research interests, the university courses she has designed and taught, and her work outside of the academy are interdisciplinary and center on examining education and literacy, broadly conceived. Understanding literacy as deeply social, cultural, and political activity; exploring literacy practices as tools for civic engagement and participation; and examining multimodal and critical engagements with literacy via media texts are at the heart of her research interests and work. Dr. Bach employs anthropological methods to study literacy, the socio-cultural contexts in which it is practiced, and the meanings individuals and communities ascribe onto their engagements with different kinds of texts.

In 2007, Dr. Bach and two colleagues were awarded the Collaborative Grant in Media and Communications from the Social Science Research Council to develop and implement a citywide community needs assessment used to build the nation’s first non-commercial youth-dedicated cable TV channel in New York City. This project is documented in a chapter of the edited volume, Communications Research in Action: Scholar-Activist Collaborations for a Democratic Public Sphere (Fordham University Press, 2011). From 2008-2009, Dr. Bach was a visiting scholar at Temple University’s School of Communication and Theater where she designed an integrated media arts and literacy program for an organization serving Philadelphia youth who dropped out of the public school system. From 2010-2012, Dr. Bach was the Geraldine R. Dodge Postdoctoral Fellow at Rutgers University’s Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience, an organization committed to creating spaces of public scholarship where academics and communities collaborate on addressing multidisciplinary issues related to urban life. While a fellow she secured several grants to implement an interdisciplinary yearlong public lecture series on education and school reform that she developed to further public understanding of reform measures being proposed for, and implemented in, schools in Newark, New Jersey.

Dr. Bach’s work has been published in the Journal for Information Policy, Phi Delta Kappan, and by the Consortium for Policy Research in Education and the Alliance for Excellent Education. She received her M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1998 and her B.A. with Honors in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 1994.