Dr. Heidi A. Backes


World Languages and Cultures

Role: Faculty
Campus: Springfield

Postal mail

Missouri State University
World Languages and Cultures
901 S. National Ave.
Springfield, MO 65897


Dr. Heidi Backes is an Associate Professor of Spanish at Missouri State University, where she teaches classes on Spanish Peninsular literature and culture, as well as courses in translation and conversation through travel. She specializes in contemporary Spanish fiction, focusing her latest research on the neo-Gothic movement in Spain. Her monograph, Spectral Spain: Haunted Houses, Silent Spaces and Traumatic Memories in Post-Franco Gothic Fiction, is forthcoming in 2024 with the University of Wales Press.



  • PhD, Modern Spanish Peninsular Literature, 2011, University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • MA, Foreign Language and Literature—Spanish Literature, 2007, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
  • BA, Spanish, 2004, University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point


  • SPN 205 Spanish Conversation
  • SPN 312 Spanish Composition
  • SPN 320 Hispanic Cinema
  • SPN 325 Spanish Civilization
  • SPN 410 Intro to Spanish Translation
  • SPN 450 Survey of Peninsular Literature
  • SPN 495 Advanced Undergraduate Seminar (“Franquismo in Spanish Visual and Print Culture”)
  • SPN 725 Graduate Seminar in Hispanic Literature and Culture

Professional experience

  • Associate Professor of Spanish, Missouri State University, 2016-present
  • Assistant Professor of Spanish, Drury University, 2012-2016
  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, 2011-2012

Professional affiliations

  • International Gothic Association (IGA)
  • Gothic Association of New Zealand and Australia (GANZA)

Selected peer-reviewed publications

  • Review of Spanish Vampire Fiction Since 1900: Blood Relations, by Abigail Lee Six. Bulletin of Spanish Studies, vol. 97, no. 2, May 2020.
  • Rhetorical Monstrosity and Female Agency in Adelaida García Morales’s El Sur. Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, vol. 96, no. 7, 2019, pp. 731-745.
  • Shared Trauma: Historical Memory and the Doppelgänger in Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s The Shadow of the Wind. Aeternum: Journal of Contemporary Gothic Studies, vol. 6, no. 1, June 2019, pp. 49-63.

Research and professional interests

  • Spanish Gothic fiction
  • Neo-gothic literary representations of the Franco dictatorship
  • Spanish women writers
  • Comparative literature

Awards and honors

  • Maroon and White Banquet Faculty Mentor, 2020
  • International Travel Grant from MSU Graduate College, 2019
  • COAL New Faculty Summer Research Award, 2017
  • Finalist, SGA Faculty Member of the Year, Drury University, 2016
  • President’s Award of Excellence, Drury University, 2016
  • Faculty Spotlight Award, Drury University, 2015