Call for Papers

The Call for Papers for MESA 2022 is closed. For MESA 2023 in Montreal, Canada the Call for Papers will be announced in the fall and the system will be open in January 2023. 

The Middle East Studies Association calls for submissions from members for its 56th annual meeting to be held in Denver, Colorado from December 1-4, 2022 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel.  To register or for further information on registration, please see here.

All submissions must be made through myMESA, MESA’s membership and electronic submissions system. The system opens on Monday, January 10, 2022 and closes at midnight (Eastern Standard Time) on Thursday, February 17, 2022.

Questions about the submission process are always welcome. Please email Kat Teghizadeh at

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 2022 meeting does not have a theme.

Jump to:
Participation Requirements
Participation Rules
Pay Membership Dues & Pre-Registration
Fill Out your Badge Information 
General Submission Instructions
Adding a Co-Author Instructions
Categories of Presentation
Membership Exemption Form 

Participation Requirements

MESA membership is a requirement to submit a proposal. The system will not let you do so if your membership is inactive. Please be reminded that although membership is a requirement, dues are non-refundable should your proposal not be accepted.

  1. If you are new to MESA, you will need to set up a myMESA account which includes completing a membership profile. Please allow several minutes for this process.
  2. You will provide your last name to see if you are already in our database. 
  3. If you see your name listed, please request a new password.
  4. If you do not receive an email with your new password, if your email has changed, or you encounter other problems with your account, email for assistance. 
Please note: Co-authors may be added at any time, but if they want their name listed in the program, then they will also need to have an active MESA membership and register for the conference if their abstract is accepted to be a part of the 2022 program.  

Participation Rules:

  1. You can only submit one paper abstract, whether that be for a pre-organized panel or one that will be assembled by the program committee during their spring meeting. What this means is that you cannot submit two paper proposals or present the same paper twice during separate panels.
  2. You may only participate in two sessions. For example, you may submit one individual paper abstract to be part of a panel while participating on another session as an organizer, chair, discussant, or as a presenter on a roundtable only.

    Presenters on roundtables and presenters on panels are treated as two distinctly different things as roundtable abstracts are shorter than individual paper abstracts submitted for a panel. Therefore, you may be a presenter on a panel and a presenter on a roundtable but you cannot be a presenter on two separate panels. 
  3. Also, you may be a presenter and/or a chair, discussant, or organizer on the same panel which you are presenting your paper while still participating in another session (as long as you are not a presenter on a second panel, as that is not allowed). 
​​​​​Our best efforts will be made to ensure that those sessions will not be scheduled at the same time. Although, we cannot guarantee that they will not be scheduled back-to-back or on the first or last day.

Participation Guidelines PDF

To view your membership status, follow these instructions: 

  1. Login to myMESA and check membership status
  2. If you are a member in good standing (active), there is a green check 

  3. If you see a red x, then you need to pay 2022 membership dues. 

To pay membership dues and pre-registration

  1. Login to your myMESA account 
  2. Click 'Payment' on the left-hand column 

  3. Select 'Membership Dues' and follow the prompts

Optional: You may also pay “MESA 2022 Pre-registration” at this time but you do not have to pay the registration fee in order to submit a proposal. If your proposal is accepted, you will be required to pre-register for the meeting by May 15, 2022 to be placed on the program. Some choose to pay this fee now to avoid having to do that later. You may request a refund of your pre-registration if your proposal is not accepted. 

Badge Information

Required: You need to provide your badge information (name and affiliation) at this time.

  1. This can be found under Annual Meeting on the left-hand column

  2. Then select 'Badge Info'         

If you qualify and would like to request a membership waiver, please complete the form located at the bottom of the page. 

General Submission Instructions

Important Note: MESA membership is a requirement to submit a proposal and you must also provide your badge information (name and affiliation) at this time. This can be found under “Annual Meeting” on the left-hand column, then select “Badge Info”. The system will not let you submit anything if you do not have an active 2022 membership and if you have not filled out your badge form.

  1. Login to your myMESA account, select 'Annual Meeting' from the left hand column.

  2. Then click on 'Participation'

  3. From there, click on category you want and proceed to follow the prompts on the screen

Submission Instructions PDF 

How to add a co-author

  1. Login to your myMESA account
  2. Select Annual Meeting on the left-hand side
  3. Click on Participation 
  4. Then hit "Submit my Indiviudal Paper" at the bottom of the page
  5. This will bring you to the below screen
  6. Check the box that says "Has Other Authors" 
  7. Search for your Co-Author by last name 
  8. Once they appear, click on their name and that will ensure that they are properly listed 

Co-Author Information Sheet PDF 

Categories of Presentation

There are four categories for submitting a proposal:

Individual Paper for panel placement
Special or Current Issues Session

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 amount is four. If there are less than four, the program committee has the authority to add additional papers to the panel. A chair and discussant may be added at any time but, preferably and if possible, 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. They will also be accepted or rejected in their entirety, even if one part of a session is deemed stronger than the other.  

Panel Summaries

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 is the importance of the topic? 
Thesis Statement – What is the main argument of your paper? 
Methodology – What models or approaches will be used in the larger study?
Results – What data indicates the outcome of the project? 
Conclusion – How does this work add to the body of knowledge on the subject matter? 
Recommendations – What changes should be implemented 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, chair, and discussant (if known at the time). 
    a. The system will generate an email notification to members prompting them to sign into their accounts and 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 must login to myMESA and track the progress of the panel to ensure that the submission is completed by 11:59PM, Eastern Standard Time, on Thursday, February 17th, 2022. 

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 based on its academic merit, the organizer can request permission from the program committee to name the panel in honor of the individual.

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 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.

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 11:59PM, Eastern Standard Time, on Thursday, February 17th, 2022.

    Note: 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 based on its academic merit, the organizer can later request permission from the program committee to name the roundtable in honor of the individual.

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 that 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. 

Special sessions are meant to supplement the annual meeting program through presentations that are of interest to people in all disciplines and 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. 

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
    b.  List of presenters 
    c.  Funding sources 
  3. A statement explaining why the session deserves special status on the MESA program
  4. The letter will be shared with the Program 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, 2022
    a.  Current issues presentations are not subject to the April 1st deadline because they are developed as matters arise. 

2022 Decisions

MESA no longer mails decision letters. Program committee decisions will be posted on myMESA by the end of April 2022. Login to your account and 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.

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 any time before the meeting.

MESA will attempt to assign a chair to each put-together panel. Volunteers to chair one of these panels should complete a chair request form, which will be available on MESA's website. Once the program has been set, MESA will send a list of composite panels to those who indicated an interest in serving as chair and will make assignments on a first-come, first-served basis.

Final Papers
In order to facilitate high quality panels, all presenters are asked to upload a copy of their working paper to the myMESA system by November 1st at the latest or email their paper to 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. The uploaded papers are available only to co-panelists. MESA no longer displays papers or makes them available 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. MESA identifies no-shows by the failure of participants to pick-up their annual meeting badge on-site at the meeting.

Documents & Links

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