Global Academy

The Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) is pleased to launch the MESA Global Academy, a new interdisciplinary initiative to sustain essential research collaborations and knowledge production among MENA-focused scholars from the region of the Middle East and North Africa and their counterparts outside the region.

By awarding competitive fellowships to displaced scholars from the MENA region to attend meetings, workshops and conferences, the project harnesses the strengths of MESA’s institutional and individual members to support the careers of individual researchers who study the Middle East and North Africa, but whose academic trajectory has been adversely affected by developments in their home countries. Its first program supported seven displaced scholars to attend the November 2019 annual meeting of MESA’s membership in New Orleans, LA, and planning for 2020 activities is under way.

The programming supported by the MESA Global Academy falls within seven research clusters, essentially thematic areas within the broader field of Middle East studies:

  • Migration and Transnational Networks
  • Global Artistic Heritage, Digital Humanities and Cultural Renewal
  • Governance, Accountability and the Rule of Law
  • Rights, Justice and Citizenship
  • Fairness and Economic Equality
  • Religion, Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment
  • Medicine, Technology and the Environment

The MESA Global Academy is led by a committee composed of MESA leadership, past and present, and programming is determined and is sustained through critical support from faculty at the following participating universities:

American University
Columbia University
Cornell University
George Mason University
George Washington University
Georgetown University
The Graduate Center at the City University of New York
Harvard University
New York University
Northeastern University
Northwestern University
Princeton University
Rutgers University
The State University of New York, Binghamton
Syracuse University
University of California, Los Angeles
The University of Chicago
The University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Southern California

The MESA Global Academy is supported by the Carnegie Corporation and sustained through a vast university network and key partnerships with organizations such as the Arab Studies Institute, the Institute of International Education’s Scholar Rescue Fund, the New School’s University in Exile, and the Scholar-at-Risk Network.

Please check here and/or email to be kept informed of opportunities through MESA’s Global Academy. 


Who is eligible to apply for opportunities and fellowships through the MESA Global Academy?

Currently, only displaced scholars from the Middle East and North Africa who are residing in North America. Additionally, the work of MESA Global Academy Fellows must fall within Middle East studies, broadly defined. Opportunities at partner universities typically fall within one of the above seven research clusters, or themes, in their focus.

Who funds the MESA Global Academy?

Funding for this project is provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, one of America’s oldest grantmaking foundations, which focuses on issues of international peace and promotes the advancement and diffusion of education, knowledge, and understanding.

How do I apply?

Please note that some events originally planned for Spring 2020 are postponed until Fall 2020 due to COVID-19. We will also be accepting proposals for new Fall 2020 events this summer. You can also email to be added to the email list or with questions.

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