Call for Papers

The 58th annual meeting will be held virtually November 11-16, 2024. The MESA 2024 Call for Papers will open January 10, 2024, and close at 11:59 AM (4:59 PM UTC) on February 15, 2024.

Members organizing sessions for MESA 2024 may place an open call for participants. For more information, go here

Questions about the submission process are always welcome. Please email [email protected]
 


MESA 2024 Call for Papers Overview

 

MESA’s Purview

MESA is primarily concerned with the area encompassing Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Israel, Pakistan, and the countries of the Arab world (and their diasporas) 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. Comparative work is encouraged. The 2024 meeting does not have a theme.

submission Requirement

MESA membership is a requirement to submit a proposal and to be on a session. Membership in MESA is for a calendar year (January 1-December 31), and dues are based on income. MESA is a membership organization and benefits include among others, discounted registration to the annual meeting. Please note that membership dues are non-refundable whether your proposal is accepted or not. MESA offers a one-time exemption to this requirement to those who have never been MESA members or attended a MESA meeting and who live abroad. For further details, see the Membership Exemption Form.

pay membership dues in myMESA

PARTICIPATION Requirement

Registration is a requirement to be placed on the program. Individuals will be notified by April 30 following the Program Committee's deliberations, and those accepted will need to pre-register by May 15, 2024, in order to be placed on the program. Please note that registration is refundable, if requested by August 1. Note that the deadline for participant refunds is earlier than those for non-participants. 

CO-AUTHORS

All proposals are reviewed blind (author information is not considered by the Program Committee) and we assign a primary author to each abstract. Information on adding a co-author will be provided after the Program Committee has made their decisions.

Participation Rules

Individuals may participate in no more than two sessions. Individuals may present only one paper. Here are further details:

  1. You can submit one paper abstract, whether that be for a pre-organized panel or one that will be assembled by the Program Committee. What this means is that you cannot submit two paper proposals or present the same paper twice during separate panels.
  2. You may participate in no more than two sessions on the program. For example, you may submit one individual paper abstract and one other submission to participate on a session as an organizer, chair, discussant, or as a presenter on a roundtable. No one may participate in more than two sessions, in any role.
  3. Multiple roles on one panel still count as one session. This means you can be both a presenter and a chair, discussant, or organizer on one panel, and also participate in one other session (as long as you are not a presenter on the second panel). ​​​​​

Submitting your Proposal

All proposals are reviewed by the Program Committee using a blind process. All submissions are made through myMESA and need to be completed by 11:59 AM EST (Noon Eastern) on Thursday, February 15, 2024. Once you are logged into the database, select Meeting from the menu bar which will provide the options for submitting your proposal. 
 
 
 

Categories of Presentation

There are five categories for submitting a proposal:

  • Panel
  • Roundtable
  • Individual Paper for panel placement
  • Special or Current Issues Session
  • Professional Development Workshop

 

1. Panels

Panels are centered around a common theme or issue. The maximum number of papers that a panel can have is six, but the ideal number is four or five. If there are fewer than four, the program committee has the authority to add additional papers to the panel. Panels with two or fewer presenters are considered nonviable, and will be combined or cancelled. A chair and discussant may be added at a later time. Preferably, presenters should not also be listed as the chair or discussant. Sessions will be accepted or rejected in their entirety. Multi-part sessions are discouraged due to programmatic space limitations.

Panel Summary

The panel summary should be between 300-400 words and exhibit a clear, scholarly focus with a well-defined description of the overall purpose of the panel. If it contains the name of any participant (presenter, organizer, chair, discussant, etc.), the panel will be automatically disqualified.

Paper Abstracts
Paper abstracts have a 400-word limit and should relate to the theme of the panel. Any proposal containing the name of the author will be automatically disqualified. 

Abstract Judging Criteria 

  • Research Question – What important question does your research seek to answer? 
  • Thesis Statement – What is the main argument of your paper? 
  • Methodology – What theories, models, or approaches were used?
  • Research or results – What sources were found, or what data have come out of the project? 
  • Conclusions or recommendations – What are the broader implications that can be drawn? How does it add to the body of knowledge on the subject matter? What could or should change as a result of the overall findings?

Panel Submission Instructions
The panel organizer is responsible for creating and managing the panel via the electronic submission system. 

  1. The panel organizer will login to myMESA and provide the basic information listed below, if applicable
    a.  Title
    b.  Sponsorship
    c.  Funding Sources
    d.  Primary discipline
    e.  Geographic & Research Areas covered 
    f.  Panel Summary 
     
  2. The panel organizer selects the paper presenters (as well as the chair and discussant, if known at the time). 
    a. The system will generate an email notification to individuals with information on steps to accept the invitation.
    b. In the case of presenters, it will ask them to submit an abstract of their paper.
    c. The panel organizer cannot submit abstracts on behalf of paper presenters; therefore, presenters must upload their abstracts in the system themselves.  
     
  3. The panel organizer should track the progress of the panel to ensure that the submission is completed by 11:59 AM, Eastern Standard Time, on Thursday, February 15, 2024. 

Panels that are created in honor of an individual cannot include the individual’s name on any of the materials to be reviewed if the honored individual is to participate on the panel. (If the panel is accepted on the basis of its academic merit, the organizer can later request permission from the Program Committee to rename the panel in honor of the individual.)
 

2. ROUNDTABLES

Roundtables promote informed discussions and debates on the current state of scholarship in particular fields, innovative work currently in progress, and/or difficulties in implementing new approaches in specific areas of study. The atmosphere fosters an open conversation where participants and attendees alike have the opportunity to voice their opinions and engage in an active, open dialogue. There is no definite limit on the number of presenters you may have on a roundtable, but the recommended number is 4-6. You may add more if it makes sense to do so.

Seating is generally restricted to a maximum of 25-30 people. Roundtables have no discussants, and participants typically prepare only short statements to kick off the conversation. For in-person meetings, there are generally neither projectors for presentations nor microphones.

Roundtable Summary 
The roundtable organizer is required to submit a summary between 300-400 words that defines the subject or problem to be addressed. The summary should be precise, to-the-point, and highlight the scope and purpose of what is being proposed. It cannot include the name of any roundtable participant or organizer, otherwise it will be automatically disqualified. 

Roundtable Statement 
Presenters are required to prepare and submit a single-spaced statement between 300-400 words detailing their approach to the topic under consideration and the role they will play in the roundtable. The name of the author cannot appear in the description, otherwise it will be automatically disqualified. 

Roundtable Submission Instructions
The roundtable organizer is responsible for creating and managing the roundtable via the electronic submission system. 

  1. The roundtable organizer will login to myMESA and provide the basic information listed below, if applicable:
    a.  Title
    b.  Sponsorship
    c.  Funding Sources
    d.  Discipline
    e.  Roundtable Summary
     
  2. The roundtable organizer selects the presenters and chair in the database. 
    a.  The system will generate an email notification to members prompting them to sign into their accounts and accept the invitation.

  3. The roundtable organizer will send a copy of the roundtable summary to all participants.

  4. Each participant will then prepare and submit their roundtable statement via the myMESA database.

  5. The roundtable organizer must login to myMESA and monitor the progress of the roundtable to ensure that the submission is completed by 11:59AM, Eastern Standard Time, on Thursday, February 15, 2024.

Roundtables that are created in honor of an individual cannot include the individual’s name on any of the materials to be reviewed if the honored individual is to participate in the roundtable. (If a roundtable is accepted on the basis of its academic merit, the organizer can later request permission from the Program Committee to rename the roundtable in honor of the individual.)
 

3. INDIVIDUAL PAPERS 

Components of the proposals should include a strong thesis statement, clear methodology, research data with specified sources listed, and a convincing, coherent conclusion. The abstract should be between 300-400 words, single-spaced. The name of the author cannot appear in the abstract, otherwise the proposal will be automatically disqualified.

Proposals that are accepted will be grouped into relevant panels, which will be assembled by the program committee.  

Individual Papers Submission Instructions
Paper presenters will login to myMESA, provide information about their proposal, and submit their abstract. 

Abstract Judging Criteria 

  • Research Question – What important question does your research seek to answer? 
  • Thesis Statement – What is the main argument of your paper? 
  • Methodology – What theories, models, or approaches were used?
  • Research or results – What sources were found, or what data have come out of the project? 
  • Conclusions or recommendations – What are the broader implications that can be drawn? How does it add to the body of knowledge on the subject matter? What could or should change as a result of the overall findings?

 

4. SPECIAL SESSIONS

Special sessions are meant to supplement the annual meeting program through presentations that are of interest to attendees in all disciplines. Special session proposals may also include submissions based on current events. Their unique and compelling nature should set them apart from the rest of the submission categories. Only a very limited number of sessions will be granted special status on the program. 

Guidelines
Organizers are strongly encouraged not to submit proposals for special session status which could more appropriately be designated as a regular panel. Organizers should not look at the special session option as a way to circumvent the deadline and policies that apply to panel proposals. 

Special Sessions Submission Instructions

  1. MESA members are welcome to propose special sessions in writing by submitting a letter to the Secretariat.
     
  2. It should include the following: 
    a.  In-depth information on the proposed topic (an overall panel summary)
    b.  List of presenters (with information on their proposed presentation topics, if possible)
    c.  Funding sources (if needed)
     
  3. A statement explaining why the session deserves special status on the MESA program
     
  4. The letter will be shared with the Program Committee Chair and a subcommittee of MESA’s Board of Directors and others, as deemed appropriate. 
     
  5. Special session proposals must reach the MESA Secretariat by April 1, 2024.
    a.  However, late breaking or current issues presentations are not subject to the April 1 deadline, because they are proposed as matters arise. 

 

5. Professional Development Workshops

A limited number of professional development workshops, with a specific intended audience such as graduate students and/or early-career scholars, may be added to the program.

Workshop Submission Instructions

  1. MESA members are welcome to propose workshops in writing by submitting a letter to the Secretariat.
     
  2. It should include the following items: 

    a.  Brief information on the proposed topic (an overall workshop summary) and its professional relevance to MESA members, noting funding sources (if needed).
    b.  A statement outlining the activities of the workshop and the intended audience (e.g. students), as well as the background and qualifications of the organizers and facilitators.
    c.  List of facilitators (with additional information on their specialities or subtopics, if needed). Facilitators must be MESA members and register for the meeting to be on the program.
     
  3. Workshop proposals should be sent to the MESA Secretariat at [email protected] by May 1, 2024.

MESA 2024 Decisions

Program committee decisions will be announced in late April. A decision letter will be posted in your myMESA account and an email will be sent to each individual. To see your letter, login to your myMESA account to download the decision letter. If the status next to your submission reads, “On Program,” your proposal has been accepted. If the status next to your submission reads “Not on Program,” your proposal has not been selected.

Chairs/Discussants
Pre-organized sessions: Panel organizers are responsible for choosing the chair and discussant for their panel by adding them to their session in myMESA. The system will then generate an invite for them to participate. Chairs and discussants may be identified at the time a proposal is submitted, or after decisions are made.

Put-together panels: MESA will seek volunteers to assign chairs to each put-together panel. A call for volunteer chairs will be announed after the program has been scheduled. Volunteers will need to complete a chair request form, which will be posted when the call for chairs is announced. Chairs are subject ot the same requirements of membership and registration. 

Final Papers
In order to facilitate high-quality panels, all presenters are asked to share their papers with their panel chair and/or discussant. Papers do not need to be complete with footnotes and bibliography; only a working paper is required. Chairs and discussants cannot do their job adequately if they hear the paper for the first time during the actual presentation; it is vital to the integrity of the panel that the paper be distributed on time. Roundtable participants do not prepare papers and therefore are not subject to this requirement. Any uploaded papers are available only to co-panelists. MESA does not publish any shared papers or make them available to the broader public in any way.

Presentation Guidelines 
Participants should not read their papers, but rather should present them in summary only. Generally, 15-20 minutes will be allowed for each presentation (depending on the number of papers on the panel). The chair is responsible for strict adherence to this rule. The remainder of the time should be devoted to discussion among the panelists and audience.

No-Show Policy
Program participants must notify the MESA Secretariat if they are not able to attend the meeting in advance of their scheduled presentation or they will not be eligible to participate on next year's meeting program. A no-show is an individual who does not attend their sessions without giving prior notice to the Secretariat and to their fellow participants.


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