Lourdes Contreras is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate in the Francophone, Italian, and Germanic Studies department. Her academic interests encompass the themes of exile and ecological representations in women-written Italian literature. Her interest in displacement and rootedness stem from the presence of the root metaphor in Italian literature from the fifteenth century to the contemporary period and the implications that this metaphor has on broader political and theoretical issues. She is interested in creating interdisciplinary models of language pedagogy in language classrooms and building equitable and inclusive lessons and syllabi in both content and language courses. She has contributed to the The Pedagogical Repository of Italian Media Activities (PRIMA), an open education resource for Italian teachers and students that provides authentic artistic content and diversifies representation in language materials. Lourdes has also presented at the American Association of Teachers of Italian on the inclusion of Ecocriticism and eco-conscious content in Italian literature courses. Lourdes grew up in Chicago and completed her BA in Italian and political science at DePaul University.