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Teutsch to speak on author Ernest J. Gaines at LBW

Dr. Matthew Teutsch, author, blogger and lecturer at Auburn University, will be speaking at the Greenville Campus of LBWCC at 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 27 in the Wendell Mitchell Conference Center. His presentation is part of the Greenville Campus Lecture Series.

The title of his presentation is “The Squared Circle, The Diamond, and The Gridiron: Athletes in the Work of Ernest J Gaines.”

Author of seven books, Ernest J. Gaines writes about the African American experience in South Louisiana during the era Jim Crow segregation and post-Civil Rights era.

Characters in Ernest J. Gaines’s works idolize Joe Louis and Jackie Robinson because they view the athletes as symbols of hope that will lead to a social movement for change. Louis’s and Robinson’s prominence on the national scene during the middle part of the twentieth century did not lead to instantaneous social change in regards to Jim Crow and segregation though. Instead, their place, as Martin Luther King argues, influenced the community to look within themselves to face oppression head on. Through his deployment of Louis, Robinson, and fictional athletes such as Gil and Cal in A Gathering of Old Men (1983), the inward “fighting spirit” and “united ranks” manifest themselves in Gaines, influenced the community to look within themselves to face oppression head on.

Teutsch, a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, has also served as an interim director of the Ernest J. Gaines Center at the U of L at Lafayette.

“Dr. Matt Teutsch and I have known each other for several years,” says Mollie Smith Waters of LBWCC.  “He and I met when we were both selected as participants to the 2015 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute in Columbus, Ohio, for a program about author Paul Laurence Dunbar. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to observe Matt’s presentation, and he certainly knows how to engage an audience. I think people will really enjoy Matt and his program. He’s a great presenter!”

Dr. Teutsch maintains Interminable Rambling, a blog about literature, composition, culture, and pedagogy. Along with book chapters, he has published and forthcoming articles in LEAR, MELUS, Mississippi Quarterly, and Studies in the Literary Imagination. His research focuses on African American, Southern, and Nineteenth Century American literature; and his current project examines the life and work of Albery Allson Whitman.