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


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

MESA Precarity Survey

The MESA Board of Directors constituted a committee on precarity and adjunctification in the field, focusing on the ongoing strutural problems in higher education made acute by the pandemic. We would like to do more for our precarious members. Please weigh in via this open-ended survey: let us know what would be most helpful for MESA to do, in order to support our colleagues, and let us know how you have been affected personally.


Consider nominating students, mentors, colleagues, and worthy individuals for one of MESA’s awards or the undergraduate workshop. Please share widely.

Malcolm H. Kerr Dissertation Awards

Submission deadline: July 1, 2020
Students completing their dissertations between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020 may submit entries for the 2020 Malcolm H. Kerr Dissertation Awards recognizing exceptional achievement in research and writing for doctoral dissertations in Middle East studies. Winner in each category (social sciences and humanities) is awarded $1000. 

MESA Graduate Student Paper Prize

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.  

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 mailing from March 25 until further notice.

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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

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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