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  

The Middle East Studies Association’s 55th annual meeting will be held in Montréal, Québec, Canada at the Palais des congrès from October 28-31, 2021. 

Program participants need to register by May 15 and the deadline for all others (general attendees, book exhibitors) is September 15. 

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The Middle East Studies Association (MESA) advocates on behalf of its members on issues that are central to its mission.

This includes statements and letters from MESA's Board of Directors, MESA's Committee on Academic Freedom, the Task Force on Civil and Human Rights, and the MESA Global Academy.

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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. Help MESA defend academic freedoms. Share your research at the annual meeting. Access the best, cutting-edge scholarship in person at the conference or online in our journals.

Join or renew today!

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Member Announcements

2021 Nominating Committee Election

All full 2021 MESA Members (fellows and students) are asked to cast their votes in the 2021 Nominating Committee Election. The Nominating Committee will be responsible for identifying candidates to run for three positions on MESA's Board of Directors.

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Recent Issues of IJMES and RoMES available

IJMES 52:4 amd RoMES 54:1 have been published. To access, select the Publications tab in your myMESA account then click the publication image.

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 Board Statement in solidarity with the uprisings against systemic racism and anti-Blackness

MESA pledges to oppose anti-Black racist violence by addressing the structural injustice at work in our own organization, in the field of Middle East studies, and among communities in the region. Guided by the principles articulated here, we commit to eradicating anti-Blackness in our organization and in the knowledge we produce.

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Pinned Story

Letter protesting the detention and mistreatment of Egyptian national Ahmed Samir Santawy

Letter to Egyptian authorities protesting the unwarranted detention of Egyptian national, Ahmad Samir Santawy, a master's student at the Central European University in Vienna, and the mistreatment he has been subjected to—including enforced disappearance and torture.

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Letter protesting the ongoing detention of Patrick George Zaki

Letter to Egyptian authorities protesting the ongoing detention of Patrick George Zaki, a graduate student in Italy and human rights researcher with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) without due process, charging him with spreading false news and statements to disturb the peace, and inciting protest without permission from relevant authorities with the goal of undermining state institutions, overthrowing the Egyptian government and instigating terrorism.

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MESA Board Statement in Solidarity with Protests at Boğaziçi University

The Board of Directors of the Middle East Studies Association of North America condemns the ongoing and intensified government assault on higher education in Turkey. As a scholarly association, MESA declares its solidarity with student and faculty protestors of the recent developments at Boğaziçi University. We join our voices to the demands raised by faculty and students: academic freedom, freedom of expression, and academic and democratic norms must be respected; and the autonomy of higher education in Turkey must be protected.

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Higher Education and Academic Freedom in Turkey: Boğaziçi Yesterday and Today 

The Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association and MESA are co-sponsoring a Zoom panel Monday, February 15 on the situation at Boğaziçi University. Former and current Boğaziçi professors will discuss the state of higher education in Turkey by reflecting on the past of Boğaziçi University and analyzing the recent events that have been unfolding since the appointment of a new university president on January 1 and the establishment of two new colleges on February 5, both by unilateral midnight decrees issued by President Erdoğan without any consultation.

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Letter regarding the government sanctioned campaign against Boğaziçi University, its students, faculty and institutional structure

Letter to President Erdoğan regarding the recent attacks against Boğaziçi University’s students and faculty, and the government’s politically motivated decision to alter the university’s academic structure.

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Letter regarding the detention and mistreatment of Boğaziçi University students protesting against the partisan authoritarian appointment of a new rector

Letter to President Erdoğan regarding the detention and mistreatment of Boğaziçi University students protesting against the partisan and authoritarian appointment of the university’s rector, the homophobic language and policies adopted in relation to student protesters, and the placement of snipers on the roofs of buildings adjacent to the campus gate.

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PERMES Masthead

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


Stay Connected

MESA offers several ways to stay connected: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, as well as listservs and trusty email notifications. To find out more, please follow the link below.

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