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Teutsch to lead LES Center

Mar 8th, 2019

Dr. Matthew Teutsch, who is currently lecturing at the University of Bergen in Norway as part of the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, has been named Director of the Piedmont College Lillian E. Smith (LES) Center.

A native of Bossier City, Louisiana, Teutsch’s academic work explores how African-American authors imagine and represent the South in their works.

The LES Center, located in Clayton, Georgia, is the former home and property of Lillian E. Smith, a famed and sometimes controversial author who explored social injustice, segregation, and isolation in the 1940s South until her death in 1966. Through a generous donation in 2013, Piedmont College acquired the property, which is used as an artist retreat and educational center.

Teutsch has served at the Ernest J. Gaines Center at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette (ULL), an international center that focuses on the work of the African-American author. While there, he collaborated on day-to-day operations of the center, worked with archival materials, generated grant support, and participated in outreach. Teutsch, who will also teach part-time, earned his M.A. from the University of Louisiana-Monroe and Ph.D. from ULL. He succeeds Craig Amason, the center’s founding director.

“Dr. Teutsch has a unique and broad skillset that is well suited for the LES Center,” said Piedmont President James F. Mellichamp. “He will work to expand the reach of the center, which is a wonderful cultural and educational resource for the college.”

Teutsch will begin his work in May and move to the area with his family during the summer.

“I am excited about continuing the work that Lillian E. Smith started to fight social injustice,” said Teutsch. “I look forward to building, with the advisory board, upon the solid foundation that Craig Amason constructed during his time at the center.”