Mission Statement

The Middle East Studies Association (MESA) is a non-profit association that fosters the study of the Middle East, promotes high standards of scholarship and teaching, and encourages public understanding of the region and its peoples through programs, publications and services that enhance education, further intellectual exchange, recognize professional distinction, and defend academic freedom in accordance with its status as a 501(c)(3) scientific, educational, literary, and charitable organization.

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Annual Meeting

2019 logo

November 14-17, 2019
Sheraton New Orleans
new orleans, louisiana

#MESA2019

Join us in November for MESA’s 53rd annual meeting in The Big Easy. Attendees will enjoy three days of academic panels, a bustling book bazaar, and a film festival screening the latest in documentary films on the Middle East.

 

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Academic Freedom

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The Committee on Academic Freedom (CAF) seeks to foster the free exchange of knowledge as a human right and to inhibit infringements on that right by government restrictions on scholars. The United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights provide the principal standards by which human rights violations are identified today. Those rights include the right to education and work, freedom of movement and residence, and freedom of association and assembly.

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Become a Member

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Be a part of a community of scholars who are passionate about the pursuit of academic knowledge on the MENA region. Join others in helping MESA defend academic freedom and civil and human rights. Share your research at the annual meeting and submit articles for MESA’s journals. Participate on a MESA committee to help recognize outstanding scholarship or work to advance the field. Join MESA today and be a part of something great!

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Member Announcements

Security Alerts for Researchers and Students

There are two active security alerts issued by MESA’s Board of Directors for those embarking on research in Egypt and UAE

MESA 2019 Results Now Available in myMESA

MESA’s Program Committee completed its program deliberations and the results are now available through myMESA. Log into the portal now to see the results!

CAF’s Resource Guide on Canary Mission

MESA’s Committee on Academic Freedom has issued a resource guide for college and university leaders on actions they can take to counteract a secretive, political organization called Canary Mission that uses its website to engage in defamatory attacks against college students and faculty who engage in advocacy for Palestinian rights and academic inquiry about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

Resource Guide

Follow MESA’s Work on the Muslim Travel Ban

When President Trump issued Executive Order 13769 (the first Muslim travel ban) on January 7, 2017, MESA and the ACLU began discussing ways in which MESA could be useful in a lawsuit against the ban. MESA ultimately joined as a plaintiff in IRAP v. Trump. Now in its third iteration, the Muslim travel ban continues to be challenged in court. A timeline of MESA's involvement with the lawsuit:

IRAP v. Trump

 

Call for Abstracts: Initiative on Islam and Medicine’s Islamic Bioethics Symposium

University of Chicago

The Initiative on Islam and Medicine’s Islamic Bioethics Symposium set to take place in conjunction with the Fifth Islam and Bioethics International Conference (following Haifa University 2001, Penn State University 2006, Ankara Turkey 2010, and Coimbra Portugal 2015) will take place on October 21, 2019 at the University of Chicago.

Begins October 18, 2019

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ACOR Director

American Center of Oriental Research

The American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR) seeks a Director to lead a wide-ranging research program that orchestrates extensive partnerships with U.S. and Jordanian government agencies, universities, and academics. Deadline: July 8, 2019

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Hatoon al-Fassi and other women’s rights activists released from prison temporarily

MESA is very pleased to report that Dr. Hatoon al-Fassi was released from prison in Saudi Arabia on May 2, 2019, and has been allowed to return home to her family. Dr. al-Fassi is a renowned historian of women in pre-Islamic Arabia, a prominent advocate for women's rights, and a long-time member of MESA. She was the recipient in November 2018, in absentia, of the MESA Academic Freedom Award, the highest recognition MESA can bestow in acknowledgement of contributions to academic freedom. Dr. al-Fassi's release has been characterized as "temporary;" we continue to call for her full exoneration. We call, as well, for the release of the other women's rights advocates who remain in detention.

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Israel’s Ruling on Deportation of Omar Shakir

Letter to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Supreme Court Justices and Registrars, Ministers Shaked and Deri expressing grave concerns regarding the Jerusalem District Court’s decision to uphold the deportation of Mr. Omar Shakir on the basis of his human rights advocacy. CAF calls on the Israeli Supreme Court to reverse the district court’s decision. CAF also calls on the Interior Ministry to cease deporting or barring people from entry on the basis of their political views.

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PERMES Masthead

PERMES is a database of programs in Middle East studies, experts on the region, and other valuable resources. 

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Stay Connected

MESA offers several ways to stay connected, including a young-people-approved presence on Facebook and Twitter, oldie but goodie listservs, and trusty email notifications. To find out more, please follow the link below.

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