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. Attendees will enjoy three days of academic panels, a bustling book exhibit, and a film festival screening the latest in documentary films on the Middle East.



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Academic Freedom

CAF logo

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

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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MESA 2020 Call for Papers 

Instructions and important dates for submitting proposals are now available here

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 is hiring a part-time research assistant

MESA is looking for a part-time research assistant for the Task Force on Civil and Human Rights concerning visa and travel obstacles to students and scholars from the Middle East coming to the United States. Other opportunities in the DC office coming soon.

Letter Criticizing President Trump’s Executive Order on Combating Anti-Semitism

Letter calling on President Trump to revoke the Executive Order on anti-Semitism, and expressing grave concern over this counterproductive approach to a real issue by relying upon a problematic definition with vague examples, which might encourage the Department of Education to infringe upon academic freedoms and restrict free speech on US campuses.

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Announcement of and Call for Papers for 2020 Conference: Arabic-Script Manuscripts in Africa, 13-16 September 2020, Alexandria, Egypt

The Islamic Manuscript Association

Bibliotheca Alexandrina and The Islamic Manuscript Association—in partnership with the library’s Manuscript Center and the Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation—are delighted to announce the conference Arabic-Script Manuscripts in Africa, which will be held at Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria, Egypt from 13 to 16 September 2020. The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 10:00 UTC on Wednesday, 15 January 2020.

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Faculty Leave Fellowship

Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University

The Crown Center for Middle East Studies is accepting applications for a one-year faculty leave residential fellowship for scholars of the contemporary Middle East. Application Deadline: January 1, 2020

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Arabic Visiting Faculty

Brigham Young University, Department of Asian & Near Eastern Languages

The Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages (ANEL) at Brigham Young University seeks to hire a full-time, non-tenure track visiting Arabic faculty member to begin teaching in Fall 2020. The deadline for applications is 5 December 2019.

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Revolutions: Moments and Movements in Historical Perspective

Seton Hall University

The Department of History of Seton Hall University invites paper proposals for the symposium “Revolutions: Moments and Movements in Historical Perspective.” The symposium will consider revolutions broadly in their social, cultural, and intellectual origins and ramifications, examining the interactions of ideologies, structures, pivotal moments, and social and political movements. Deadline Extended: December 2, 2019

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Between State and Market: The Making and Breaking of the Middle Class in the Middle East - Call For Papers

Ben Gurion University of the Negev

University of Exeter Press has invited Ben Gurion University of the Negev to edit a book on middle classes in the Middle East. They are currently in the process of assembling and finalizing a list of contributions prior to submitting the book proposal for peer review, in line with Exeter's approval processes. If interested, send a short description of proposed chapter (100-200 words) and CV by December 15, 2019.

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All News

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, 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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