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.
The Middle East Studies Association (MESA) is a private, non-profit learned society that brings together scholars, educators and those interested in the study of the region from all over the world. MESA is primarily concerned with the area encompassing Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Israel, Pakistan, and the countries of the Arab World from the seventh century to modern times. Other regions, including Spain, Southeastern Europe, China and the former Soviet Union, also are included for the periods in which their territories were parts of the Middle Eastern empires or were under the influence of Middle Eastern civilization. From its inception in 1966 with 50 founding members, MESA has increased its membership to more than 2,700 and now serves as an umbrella organization for more than fifty institutional members and thirty-six affiliated organizations. The association is a constituent society of the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Council of Area Studies Associations, and a member of the National Humanities Alliance.
As part of its goal to advance learning, facilitate communication and promote cooperation, MESA sponsors an annual meeting that is a leading international forum for scholarship, intellectual exchange and pedagogical innovation. It is responsible for the International Journal of Middle East Studies, the premiere journal on the region, the MESA Review of Middle East Studies and a biannual newsletter. An awards program recognizes scholarly achievement, service to the profession and exemplary student mentoring. MESA is governed by an nine-member Board of Directors elected by the membership.