MESA pledges to oppose anti-Black racist violence by addressing the structural injustice at work in our own organization, in the field of Middle East studies, and among communities in the region. Guided by the principles articulated here, we commit to eradicating anti-Blackness in our organization and in the knowledge we produce.
The Board of Directors of the Middle East Studies Association of North America calls for the cessation of state-directed cyber surveillance attacks against members of the academic community. Digital violence, such as hacking, is inimical to academic freedom and basic rights.
MESA has endorsed a statement by the American Historical Association condemning the harassment and intimidation of participants, organizers, and university sponsors of the virtual conference “Dismantling Global Hindutva: Multidisciplinary Perspectives.”
MESA has endorsed a letter by the American Association of University Professors, the American Historical Association, the Association of American Colleges & Universities, and PEN America stating “firm opposition” to legislation, introduced in at least 20 states, that would restrict the discussion of “divisive concepts” in public education institutions.
MESA's Board of Directors calls on university administrators in Florida to support their faculty and speak out against the threat that a new bill poses to academic freedom and free speech rights of both faculty and students, as well as to proper governance and independence of Florida’s colleges and universities.
MESA Board Statement regarding the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism (and “Contemporary Examples”)
MESA expresses its grave concern about a number of the “Contemporary Examples of Antisemitism” that accompany the working definition of antisemitism formulated by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). MESA therefore encourages the federal, state, provincial, and local governments of the United States and Canada, as well as university and college administrations, to refrain from adopting or making policy based on IHRA's accompanying examples.
MESA has endorsed a letter by the American Council of Learned Societies strongly encouraging Iowa lawmakers to vote against bills which would remove tenure for faculty at Iowa's public universities.
MESA has endorsed a statement by the American Council of Learned Societies urging the Kansas Board of Regents to withdraw its endorsement of a proposed policy to suspend, dismiss, or terminate employees, including tenured faculty members, without formally declaring a financial emergency.
MESA has endorsed a statement by the American Historical Association condemning the report of the President's Advisory 1776 Commission, which attacks American institutions of higher education without evidence or cause. The 1776 Report omits or criticizes half a century of historical scholarship in favor of extolling a simplistic and tendentious interpretation of our past.
MESA has endorsed a statement by the American Philosophical Association concerning the threats to academic freedom posed by the Executive Order of September 22, 2020, which seeks to ban recipients of federal funding from instituting workplace training touching on what the order terms “divisive concepts” involving race.
MESA’s Board of Directors calls on university administrators to robustly defend the academic freedom of their faculty, students, and staff within Zoom and other corporate-controlled virtual meeting platforms.
ACLS Joint Statement: COVID-19 and the Key Role of the Humanities and Social Sciences in the United States
MESA has signed a statement on behalf of the humanities and social sciences in institutions of American higher education, coordinated in conjunction with the American Council of Learned Societies, attesting to the importance of study and research at this critical moment of crises.
Letter to Immigration and Customs Enforcement Concerning Its Decision to End Visa Exemptions for International Students
MESA has cosigned the letter from the MLA and other ACLS constituents to ICE concerning the revocation of temporary visa exemptions for international students and faculty members for the upcoming academic year.
MESA has endorsed the Middle East Librarians Association Statement on Collection Development, Access, and Equity in the time of COVID-19 issued June 22, 2020. The statement concerns the preservation of funding allocations for acquiring materials from the region and other related issues.
MESA has cosigned the American Philosophical Association statement regarding xenophobia, discrimination, and racism, including acts of violence, against Asians and Asian Americans.
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.
November 14, 2019 MESA Board statement concerning the protection of academic freedom, condemning anti-Semitism and all other forms of discrimination and illegal harassment, while affirming the constitutional protection of free speech.
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 from MESA Board to Stanford University expressing deep disappointment and dismay over the decision to drastically cut support of its university press.