Call for Papers

The Middle East Studies Association calls for submissions from members for its 54th annual meeting to be held on October 10-13, 2020 in Washington, DC.

All submissions must be made through myMESA, MESA’s membership and electronic submissions system. The system opens on January 13, 2020 and closes at midnight (Mountain Standard Time) on February 18, 2020.

Questions about the submission process are always welcome. Please email Kat Kassanitz at kat@mesana.org

MESA’s Purview

The 2020 meeting does not have a theme. 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.
 

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 enounter other problems with your account, email sara@mesana.org for assistance.  


*****PLEASE NOTE:  If you have NOT renewed your membership for 2020, you will NOT be able to recieve an email inviting you to participate on any session. Kindly make sure to do so beforehand.*****

 

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 sessions.
     
  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 in another session (organizer, chair, discussant, roundtable, thematic conversation, etc). 

    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. 
     

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.

 


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 2020 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 2020 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, 2020 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. 


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 2020 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

 

Categories of Presentation

There are five categories of presentation:

Panel
Roundtable
Thematic Conversation
Individual Paper for panel placement
Special or Current Issues Session
 

Panels

Panels are centered around a common theme or issue. The maximum number of papers that a panel can have is five, 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. The name of the author cannot appear in any paper abstract or the proposal 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, Mountain Standard Time, on Tuesday, February 18th, 2020. 

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.
 

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 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 recommened number is 4-6. You may add more if it makes sense to do so. Only a limited number of roundtables are placed on the program each year and seating is restricted to a maximum of 25-30 people.  Roundtables have no discussants and participants do not prepare papers or lecture to the audience. 

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, Mountain Standard Time, on Tuesday, February 18th, 2020.

    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 request permission from the program committee to name the roundtable in honor of the individual.

3. THEMATIC CONVERSATIONS 
Thematic conversations provide a place for like-minded scholars to pose new research questions, explore the latest approaches in addressing old issues, and engage in an open, academic exchange within an unstructured space.  There will be no more than one thematic conversation for each panel time slot and this may be further limited by the number of available meeting rooms. Seating is restricted to a maximum of 25-30 people and attendance will be on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Proposal Assumptions
The ‘conversation’ is a dialogue that is already underway, be it on an electronic discussion list, circulating position paper, previous panels, or perhaps a mini-conference elsewhere. The thematic conversation will span the course of two, maximum three, MESA annual meetings, although not necessarily directed or attended by the same individuals. The MESA Newsletter can be used as a place to call for participation or to announce a thematic conversation. 

Guidelines
Each conversation should have an organizer or a referee and no more than 5 designated presenters tasked with setting the agenda for the discussion. Not all presenters must be MESA members, but organizersand referees must be. All participants must pay the appropriate category of annual meeting pre-registration. Due to the unstructured nature of thematic conversations, submissions in this category are not eligible for sponsorship by organizations. 

Position Statement  
The organizer is required to submit a position statement outlining the nature of the thematic conversation in 400 words or less.  

Response Statement
Participants are required to submit a brief summary that will further elaborate on their role in the thematic conversation in 400 words or less. 

Thematic Conversation Submission Instructions
The organizer is responsible for creating and managing the thematic conversation via the electronic submission system. The Program Chair, in consultation with the Program Committee and/or Board members in relevant fields, will review submissions, but only for duplication of effort and clarity. 

  1. The organizer will login to myMESA and provide basic information regarding the following:  
    a.  Title
    b.  Discipline
    c.  Position Statement 
     
  2. The organizer should send any supporting documentation which shows the ongoing nature of the thematic conversation to Kat Kassanitz (kat@mesana.org). 
     
  3. The organizer selects the participants in the database. 
    a.  The system will generate an email notification to members prompting them to sign into their accounts and accept the invitation.
  4. Each participant will then prepare and submit their response statement in the system.
     
  5. The organizer must login to myMESA and monitor the progress of the thematic conversation to ensure that the submission is completed by 11:59PM, Mountain Standard Time, on Tuesday, February 18th, 2020. 

We anticipate room for 5 new thematic conversations for the 2020 annual meeting. Please keep this in mind as you consider your submission options. Also, make sure to be mindful of the new submission deadline for thematic conversations, which now aligns with the cut-off date for proposals in other categories.
 

4. 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 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. 
 

5. SPECIAL SESSIONS,
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. 

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
    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, 2020
    a.  Current issues presentations are not subject to the April 1st deadline because they are developed as matters arise. 
     

2020 Decisions

MESA no longer mails decision letters. Program committee decisions will be posted on myMESA by the end of April 2020. 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.

Chairs/Discussants
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. Both are not part of the review process.

MESA will attempt to assign a chair to each non-preorganized panel. Those wishing to volunteer to chair one of these panels should complete a chair request form which will be available on MESA's website shortly. 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 September 15th 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 and thematic conversation 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 (dependent upon 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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