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 



Join us this October for MESA's 54th Annual Meeting Virtual Conference! For health and safety concerns posed by Covid-19, the conference will be held virtually. Program sessions are now scheduled between October 5-17, with the original meeting days of October 10-13 being reserved for MESA plenary events such as the presidential panel and awards ceremony, as well as some late-breaking sessions. You can find an updated program schedule here

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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

MESA 2020 Call for Current Issues and Late-breaking Sessions

Deadline: August 18, 2020

We invite MESA members to submit special sessions to supplement the annual meeting program through presentations that are of broad interest across disciplines, and may also include submissions based on current events. Their unique and compelling nature should set them apart from other submission categories. Only a limited number of sessions will be granted special status on the program.


2020 Election of Officers

Deadline: September 15, 2020

All full MESA Members (fellow, honorary fellow, and student) are asked to cast their votes for President-Elect and Members of the Board.

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MESA Global Academy Call for Applications

Deadline: August 7, 2020

The MESA Global Academy, an initiative providing competitive scholarships to displaced scholars from the MENA region currently located in North America, has announced a call for applications for scholarships for academic year 2020-21.

Scholarship Guidelines

MESA Graduate Student Paper Prize Call for Submissions

Deadline: August 15, 2020
Graduate student research papers on any aspect of post 600 CE Middle East studies are sought for this blind review. Winner is awarded $250.  

Prize Guidelines

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.  

Report Incident

Global Academy Scholarships

The MESA Global Academy, an initiative designed to sustain essential research collaborations and knowledge production among MENA-focused academics by providing competitive scholarships to displaced scholars from the MENA region currently located in North America, is thrilled to announce a call for applications for scholarships for the academic year 2020-2021. Applications are due by August 7.

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    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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    Virtual Events Web Posting Form

    To be listed in our Virtual Events section in "Resources and Opportunities," complete this Virtual Events Sharing form. We will simply include whatever registration process you already have in place, with the details you provide. This is a complimentary service to the Middle East studies community in support of reaching a broader audience for relevant events.

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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 and Facebook, as well as listservs and trusty email notifications.
      To find out more, please follow the link below.

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