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2018 Annual Conference

Philadelphia

March 01-04, 2018

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2018 SPE Annual Conference: Uncertain Times: Borders, Refuge, Community, Nationhood / Hosted by The University of the Arts

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The city of Starkville has the perfect mix of a college town atmosphere with small-town Mississippi feel and hospitality. Bars and venues such as State Theater, Bin 612, Zorba's Greek Tavern, and Mugshot's decorate the downtown area and epitomize Starkville's college town appeal. There are also many events that occur throughout the year at Mississippi State University, one of which being Bulldog Bash, the largest free outdoor concert in Mississippi. It has been the host to performing artists such as Third Eye Blind, Jason Mraz, and most recently The Avett Brothers, who attracted 40,000 fans to their show. As well as having a great collegiate environment, Starkville also has a quiet, small town appeal that makes it very hospitable to locals and guests alike. With great local restaurants like Restaurant Tyler, The Veranda, and everyone's favorite hole-in-the-wall Italian eatery, Stromboli's, there is never a shortage of places to eat. One of the oldest and most famous parts of Starkville is an area known as the Cotton District. Formerly a region covered in cotton and agriculture, the Cotton District is now an eclectic combination of local businesses and houses, some dating to before the Civil War. It is also home to the annual Cotton District Arts Festival, which is a springtime event that showcases much of the local artistry and even includes students' work.Probably one of Starkville's greatest draws to outsiders is its landscape and scenery, which is exemplified on campus at Mississippi State University. MSU is an agricultural land grant university and the landscape of campus is one of the most beautiful anywhere in the country. Because of its enormous land area (the second largest in the country), the campus is covered with wide open expanses of gorgeous green grass and trees that are surrounded by numerous buildings displaying architecture dating back to the early 20th century. Other parts of the greater Starkville area display their natural beauty as well - the most noteworthy of which is the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, a 48,000 acre park on the outskirts of Starkville that surrounds two large lakes and is a great place for fishing, biking, bird watching, or just Sunday afternoon relaxation.

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