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The public is invited to the second annual presentation of the Bert Hitchcock Graduate Award in Southern Studies on Thursday, April 21 at 4 p.m. at Pebble Hill. The 2016 recipient, Matthew Sparacio, will discuss “The Choctaw Civil War and the Southern Frontier.”

The Hitchcock Award is an official recognition by former students who acknowledge Hitchcock’s excellence as a mentor and a scholar. The award was organized by Regina Ammon and Kelly Gerald. Hitchcock retired from the department of English in 2008 as the Hargis Professor of American Literature.

Matthew Sparacio is a Ph.D. student concentrating on early American history. His minor fields include modern American and early modern European history. Matthew earned a bachelor and master’s degree from Virginia Tech. He is currently working with Kathryn Braund and researching the Choctaw Indians in the mid-18th century and dynamism of the southern frontier before the Seven Years' War. He was recently awarded a Robert L. Middlekauff Fellowship with the Huntington Library to aid his dissertation research. Matthew has presented research at the Southern Conference of British Studies, the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, as well as at graduate conferences hosted by Central Michigan University and Florida State University.

The event is free, open to the public and will be followed by refreshments. The Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities at Pebble Hill is located at 101 S. Debardeleben St. The historic 1847 Scott-Yarbrough house, known as Pebble Hill, will be open for tours from 3-4 p.m.

For more information on the program, call 844-4903 or visit the website.