MESA - Middle East Studies Association

MESA Graduate Student Paper Prize

The Middle East Studies Association invites submissions of graduate student research papers on any aspect of post 600 CE Middle East studies for the 2018 Graduate Student Paper Prize. The author of the winning paper will be presented with a certificate and $250 cash award at the Awards Ceremony at MESA's annual meeting. In addition, the author is encouraged to submit their winning paper for consideration of publication in the Review of Middle East Studies (RoMES).

Papers will be reviewed using a BLIND process therefore no identifying information should appear anywhere on the student paper. This includes name, institution, advisor's name, etc. on the title page, header, footnote, document file name, etc. Papers will be evaluated according to originality of research and conceptualization (or interpretation), cogency of argument, and clarity of writing.

2018 Submission rules:

Complete the submission form and provide proof of graduate student status (that you were a graduate student who had not yet been awarded a doctoral degree at time paper was written) by asking a faculty member to send in a statement (since it is a blind review it may be sent via email) verifying that the paper was written as a graduate student and was produced between June 30, 2017 and June 30, 2018.

The Author's name, as well as any other identifying info, must not appear anywhere on the paper.

The paper must not exceed 7500 words (excluding bibliography/endnotes).

Only one entry per participant is allowed.

The paper must never have been submitted for publication (nor will be throughout the duration of the competition).

The paper needs to use the following format:

  • 8 ½ x 11 paper 
  • One-sided
  • Standard font (such as Arial or Times Roman)
  • Double-spaced
  • 1.25” margins
  • Black and white 
  • IJMES standards for endnotes
Deadline: August 15, 2018

All submission materials should be sent electronically to

Rose Veneklasen
Awards Coordinator
tel 520-333-2577

2017 Award Recipient

Han Hsien Liew
Harvard University

Ibn al-Jawzi and the Cursing of Yazid b. Muʿawiya: Debating Rebellion and Legitimate Rulership

Previous Award Recipients

Previous Award Recipients

2016 Paola Cossermelli Messina, The New School
Reclaiming the Stage: Oral Histories of Iranian Women Musicians
2015 Gerasimos Tsourapas, SOAS, University of London
Labour Emigration and State Strength during the Arab Cold War
2014 Sanja Kadrić, Ohio State University, Department of History
Devşirme and The Laws of the Janissaries: Muslims in the Bosnian Eyalet
2013 Christiane-Marie Abu Sarah, University of Maryland, Department of History
Imagining the World, Embodying Egypt: The Visual Semiotics of Identity in the Cartoons of Salah Jahin, 1964 - 1972
2012 Zachary Foster, Princeton University, Near Eastern Studies
Can the Locust Speak? Greater Syria During World War I
2011 Rania Kassab Sweis, Stanford University
"Saving Egypt's Village Girls: Rights, Embodiment and Gendered Vulnerability in a Global Youth Initiative"
2010 Murat Inan, University of Washington
Rethinking the Ottoman 'Imitation' of Persian Poetry: The Case for the "Suleymanic" Reception of Hafez of Shiraz

Darin N. Stephanov, University of Memphis
The First Shift in (Modern) Ruler Visibility: The Reign of Mahmud II"
2009 Fatemeh Hosseini, University of Maryland College Park,Whores or Wives: Discourses on Prostitution in Modern Iran, 1969-2006
2008 Yael Warshel, University of California, San Diego
It's All About Tom and Jerry, Amr Khaled and Iqra, not Hamas's Mickey Mouse: TV Viewing among Palestinian Children and Their Parents' Related Preferences
2007 Hoda Yousef, Georgetown University
Malak Hifni Nasif: Between Cultural and Patriarchal ‘Others’
2006 David Siddhartha Patel, Stanford University
Islam, Identity, and Electoral Coordination in Iraq
2005 Amira Mittermaier, Dept. of Anthropology, Columbia University
(Re)Imagining the Tradition: Dreams, Visions and Poetry in Contemporary Egypt

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