Laura Bass earned her A.B. from Occidental College with a major in Religious Studies. She completed an M.A. in Spanish and Latin American literature at the University of Virginia and received her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2000. From 2000 to 2012, she taught in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Tulane University, where she was director of graduate studies for two years. She has also held visiting appointments at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities and Brown. She joined Brown in 2012 as associate professor of Hispanic Studies, with a courtesy appointment in the History of Art and Architecture. She has served over two terms as chair of the Department of Hispanic Studies (AY 2012/13-2014/15; 2017-AY 2019/20).