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 

OCTOBER 10-13, 2020
MARRIOTT WARDMAN PARK
WASHINGTON, DC

#MESA2020

Join us in October for MESA’s 54th annual meeting!

The meeting features panels and roundtables on a wide variety of topics related to the broader Middle East and North Africa from the 600s until the present. The formal presentations and thematic conversations are complemented by an exciting film festival of documentaries, features, and shorts related to the region, as well as a comprehensive book exhibit featuring the latest publications in the field, in addition to a variety of other events and opportunities related to academic and professional careers in Middle East studies.

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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

Cambridge University Press Halts Production and Distribution of Printed Journals

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Cambridge University Press has decided to halt all journal issue printing from 25th March until further notice.

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MESA Book Exhibit

Reservations are now being accepted for MESA 2020 to be held October 10-13 in Washington, DC.  Exhibitors wanting to be included in the booth lottery need to submit their reservations by April 27. 

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Call for Papers - Undergraduate Research Workshop

The Committee on Undergraduate Middle East Studies (CUMES) is sponsoring an undergraduate research workshop to be held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Middle East Studies Association. The workshop is an opportunity for students in any academic discipline with a focus on the Middle East to present their research to other students and to get feedback and research advice from faculty facilitators. The workshop will be led by a diverse group of Middle East studies scholars, drawn from CUMES, MESA award winners, and other leading academics. Deadline is May 1, 2020.

Submission details

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

Registering incident of sexual harassment 

If you are a victim of harassment or you witness harassment, please use this form to report the incident.  

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Statement on COVID-19 and Academic Labor

MESA has cosigned MLA's statement regarding academic labor and COVID-19, urging flexibility and empathy among faculty, students, and staff at institutions of higher education, including not only material support but also ethical imagination and commitment from academic institutes to both the individual and shared challenges facing our communities during this unprecedented pandemic.

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Review and Reappointment Processes For Tenure Line and Contingent Faculty During the COVID-19 Crisis

The Middle East Studies Association (MESA), in collaboration with scholarly societies led by the American Sociological Association (ASA), commends institutions of higher education for quickly taking steps to deal with the COVID-19 crisis and encourages all universities and colleges to consider appropriate temporary adjustments to their review and reappointment processes for tenure line and contingent faculty.

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MESA Board letter to Durham University concerning BRISMES

The Board of Directors has issued an open letter to Durham University regarding the Vice Chancellor's decision to withdraw administrative services from the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES), following the society’s vote on a resolution in favor of supporting the academic boycott of Israel last year. MESA is gravely concerned over the implications for academic freedom and freedom of expression over controversial issues — not only for our colleagues engaged in Middle East studies in Britain, but also for British academia more broadly.

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Urging immediate release of Patrick Zaki and other scholars from Egyptian state pre-trial detention without justifiable cause

Letter urging the immediate release of Patrick Zaki, student at the University of Bologna, Italy, who has been detained by Egyptian security forces since 7 February 2020 and tortured. Letter also urges the immediate release of all students and scholars held in pre-trial detention without justification.

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Open letter to the SGDSN concerning archival declassification in France

MESA joins 16 other associations from across the globe in concern for the recent policy changes by the Secrétariat général de la défense et de la sécurité nationale (SGDSN), imposing limitations on access to documents from 1940 to present, which includes all those held at the French Ministry of Defense Archives at Vincennes, and the possible extension to other archives with previously classified documents.

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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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