The Board of Directors has issued an open letter to Durham University regarding the Vice Chancellor's decision to withdraw administrative services from the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES), following the society’s vote on a resolution in favor of supporting the academic boycott of Israel last year. MESA is gravely concerned over the implications for academic freedom and freedom of expression over controversial issues — not only for our colleagues engaged in Middle East studies in Britain, but also for British academia more broadly.
MESA joins 16 other associations from across the globe in concern for the recent policy changes by the Secrétariat général de la défense et de la sécurité nationale (SGDSN), imposing limitations on access to documents from 1940 to present, which includes all those held at the French Ministry of Defense Archives at Vincennes, and the possible extension to other archives with previously classified documents.
The Middle East Studies Association is joined by seven fellow associations of the American Council of Learned Societies in deep concern over the continued politicization of the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights and the threat that its ongoing investigations into New York University and the University of California, Los Angeles represents to academic freedom. Political speech is and must remain constitutionally protected in the United States, and should not be conflated with bigotry for partisan political purposes. We condemn racism in all forms, and oppose in the strongest possible terms any form of discrimination against or harassment of Jewish students. The government's instrumentalization and abuse of the issue of anti-Semitism is an unwelcome intrusion at our institutions of higher education, intending to intimidate faculty and police political debates on campuses.
MESA signs open letter by SAH in opposition to proposed EO “Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again”
MESA joins SAH statement as a signatory with other concerned academic associations following the proposed Executive Order regarding design and structure of federal buildings.
MESA signs joint letter from the AAA opposing American presidential threats to commit war crimes by targeting cultural sites in Iran
MESA joins AAA statement "Targeting Cultural Sites is a War Crime" as a signatory with other concerned academic associations following recent presidential threats to Iran.
MESA has joined other organizations in an open letter to Emirati authorities on behalf of human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor.
18 major scholarly societies join MESA in expressing concern about the Department of Education’s interpretation of Title VI
MESA and 18 other academic associations, representing over 100,000 concerned members, issue letter in response to allegations made by the DoE against the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies, calling attention to the overly narrow and partisan conception of international studies contained in the letter, and pointing to past successes of Title VI programs in educating students and training experts with the needed depth and breadth in languages and regional and international studies.
Letter to Israel authorities about restrictions on international academics working in Palestinian universities
MESA and other scholarly societies issue letter that calls upon Israel authorities to issue a transparent policy that allows entry and the presence of foreign faculty and staff on Palestinian university campuses in accordance with international humanitarian and human rights law.
MESA deplores the most recent mass execution of 37 detainees in Saudi Arabia on 23 April 2019. It has noted with deep concern that among those executed were an academic and at least one student.
Letter from MESA Board to Stanford University expressing deep disappointment and dismay over the decision to drastically cut support of its university press.
MESA joined as a signer with other professional societies on a letter to Stanford University's administration about the recent decision to drastically cut support of their university press.
March 20, 2019 – The MESA Board deplores the ongoing detention of Dr. Hatoon al-Fassi who has been detained since June 21, 2018, by the government of Saudi Arabia. Dr. al-Fassi was among ten Saudi women brought to a closed-door court hearing on March 13, 2019 on unknown charges.
MESA’s Board of Directors and Committee on Academic Freedom Express Concern Over Deteriorating Condition of Academic and Personal Freedom in Sudan
February 27, 2019 – The Board of Directors of the Middle East Studies Association of North America and its Committee on Academic Freedom strongly condemn the Sudanese government’s violent suppression of peaceful public protests since December 2018, and the arbitrary detention of protestors, including many academics.
MESA Board of Directors issues revised security alert for study and research in Egypt, February 2019.
November 15, 2018 MESA Board Statement on Deteriorating Security Conditions for Researchers in the UAE