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 57th annual meeting will be held in Montréal, Québec, Canada from November 2-5, 2023 at the Palais des congrès.

MESA holds the largest gathering of Middle East studies scholars, and MESA 2023 includes a robust program of over 350 sessions, nearly 50 exhibitors, and a virtual film festival. 

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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

Tea cup and plate

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

A Message from the MESA President regarding the disasters in Morocco and Libya

The MESA community has been deeply affected by the tragedy and destruction in Morocco and Libya after the recent earthquake and flooding. Our hearts have broken with the news of so much loss. We extend our deepest condolences to all of our members who have lost loved ones, and will stand with them as the grieving continues. We encourage our colleagues to consider donating directly to the ongoing relief efforts.

MESA 2023 Searchable and Preliminary Programs Available

 Please see the searchable program for a full listing of over 370 sessions. MESA is also looking for volunteer chairs of put-together panels. The preliminary program (pdf) shows the program as of September 1.

Applications Sought for IJMES Editor

The MESA Board of Directors invites applications and nominations for the next editor of the International Journal of Middle East Studies (IJMES) for a five-year term beginning July 1, 2024. Application review will begin August 1, 2023, and continue until a new editor is identified. For more information, go here

A Message from the MESA President to our Colleagues in Sudan

We are closely and sorrowfully following the situation in Sudan as two warlords have besieged Sudan’s capitol, Khartoum, with their violent competition to seize power, and without any consideration of the country’s civilians over whom they seek to rule. The humanitarian catastrophe for Khartoum’s citizens goes well beyond issues of academic freedom. We express our heartfelt sympathy for all Sudanese people caught in the crossfire.

As information comes in, we will post sites where our members can donate to help alleviate the suffering of our friends and family in Khartoum and elsewhere in Sudan. Let us remember that these are communities who rose up in peaceful protest in 2019 to call for a civilian-led democracy, only to have their hopes – and now their homes – violently repressed.

MESA Strategic Plan

MESA has adopted a strategic plan for 2021-2025. To view the plan or for more information, please see here.

Issues of IJMES, RoMES, and IMES available

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.

Assistant Professor of the Ancient Mediterranean

Classics Program, University of California at Davis

The Classics Program at the University of California, Davis invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position, beginning July 1, 2024, at the rank of Assistant Professor. Applicants’ research interests should focus on Ancient Mediterranean culture(s) outside of Europe (e.g., Ancient Egypt, North Africa, the Levant).

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Assistant Professor Environmental History - Department of History

University of California Berkeley

The University of California at Berkeley seeks applications for a full-time tenure-track faculty appointment at the level of assistant professor in the Department of History. The position is defined as Environmental History, including histories of how people have interacted with, represented, thought about, and changed and/or been changed by the biophysical places, biomes, and/or earth systems of which they have been a part. Applications due November 1st.

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Call for Submissions: Negativity and Construction

American University of Beirut

The conference seeks to repose today the question of criticism in the Arab world. Critique is either too late or too soon for its context, arriving at the scene only after the deal is done, or forewarning an imminent disaster. How to rethink the function of critique and criticism in our contemporary moment? More crucially, what is singular about re-posing this question from the context of Beirut, Lebanon today? We invite scholars, artists, researchers and students working in the humanities and social sciences to submit a 300-word abstract and bio by the extended deadline of Nov 15th, 2023.  

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Democracy in Crisis: Geopolitical Shifts and US Challenges in MENA

Arab Center Washington DC

Arab Center Washington DC is dedicating its eighth annual conference to exploring the current crisis facing democratization and the implementation of reforms across the Middle East and North Africa. This one-day conference explores the current state of democracy and democratic regression in the MENA region and focuses on the evolution of US policy toward the region and the status of human rights there.

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Instructional Professor in Northwest Semitics (open rank)

University of Chicago Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations of the Humanities Division at the University of Chicago seeks to add to the University’s existing program in Northwest Semitics. We invite applications for appointment as Instructional Professor (open rank) in Northwest Semitics, particularly Aramaic, Biblical Hebrew, Syriac, and related dialects/languages. The start date of the appointment will be September 1, 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter.

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Assistant Professor Tenure Track Position (Asian Refugee Literatures and Cultures)

Simon Fraser University

Applications are being sought for a full-time tenure track position at Simon Fraser University at the rank of Assistant Professor with expertise in Asian Refugee Literatures and Cultures, to be housed in the Department of World Languages and Literatures with 50% dedicated workload in the Global Asia Program starting July 15, 2024.

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Translation, Transposition, and Travel in the Global Nineteenth Century

Society for Global Nineteenth-Century Studies

For its second world congress to be held in Kuwait from 16 to 19 January 2025, the Society for Global Nineteenth-Century Studies is pleased to invite proposals on the theme of “Translation, Transposition, and Travel in the Global Nineteenth Century.” We welcome proposals for papers and panels that explore transits between places, languages, cultures, and ideas.

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Visiting Fellow In Gender, Body Politics and Iranian Art (Brown CMES + Columbia MEI)

Center for Middle East Studies, Brown University

The initiative, developed jointly by the Center for Middle East Studies at Brown University and the Middle East Studies Institute at Columbia University, focuses on gender and body politics in relation to Iran. We are inviting applications from an artist to spend one entire academic year residing one semester at each institution starting January 2024 to December 2024. This fellowship is generously supported by the Persian Heritage Foundation.

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Assistant Professor - Persian Literature

University of Chicago Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago invites applications for a tenure-track assistant professor position in Persian Literature and Culture with an expected start date of July 1, 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter.

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