MESA calls for volunteers to chair the panels that were assembled from individually submitted papers. If you are interested in chairing one or more of the sessions below, please send an email message detailing your preferences to Mark Lowder at

Please be certain that you will attend the annual meeting before volunteering. It is difficult to find replacement chairs as the meeting approaches.

Requirements to Participate

As is the case for all meeting participants, chairs must:

  1. be current MESA members for 2018 (we cannot act on your request if you are not a current MESA member)
  2. pre-register for the MESA 2018 annual meeting

Chair Responsibilities

Panel chairs:

  1. welcome attendees and introduce paper presenters (typically by providing the name, affiliation and paper title)
  2. keep track of presentation times and transitions by giving presenters gentle reminders (for instance, slipping notes to presenters indicating how much time is left)
  3. ensure that panels end on time!
  4. report panelist absences to the MESA Secretariat (did a presenter unexpectedly not show up?) 

Available Sessions

Thursday, November 15

5:30 p.m.

5286 Contemporary Authoritarinism in the Middle East 

5356 Missionaries during the Ottoman Period

5360 Cultural Trends in the Abbasid Period

Friday, November 16

8:30 a.m.

5287 Military and Diplomatic Strategies 

5294 Protests and Discriminations 

5314 Traveling Texts Relational Identities 

5315 From Damascus to Bukhara Islamic Thought Across Boundaries 

5347 Comparative Politics of the Contemporary Arab World 

5355 Political & Religious Development during the Safavid Period 

11:00 a.m.

5292 Social Challenges & Protection in Contemporary Societies 

5329 Aesthetic Experimentation in Arab Literature 

5330 Gender, Film & Cultural Hegemony 

5359 Railroads, Statecraft and Urban Life in the Late Ottoman Period 

1:30 p.m.

5308 Science, Medicine, and Progress in Qajar, Pahlavi and Revolutionary Iran 

5338 Contemporary Jordanian Politics 

4:00 p.m.

5302 Contemporary Arab and Persian Art 

5341 Teaching Arabic 

5354 Migrant and Indigenous Labor in the Middle East 

Saturday, November 17

8:30 a.m.

5291 Proto-Nation States - Pluralism in Contemporary Muslim Societies 

5305 Refugees and States in the Middle East 

5307 Unorthodoxies Shi'ism, Sufism, Feminism 

5312 Minorities and the Nation in 20th Century Istanbul, Cairo, and Baghdad 

5316 Translations and Travel Writing 

5321 Education and Identity from Kuwait to Grenoble 

11:00 a.m.

5309 Representations of the Past/Presentations of the Present 

5331 Early Women's Voices  

3:00 p.m.

5288 Minority Communities: Identity, Law and Politics 

5299 Envisioning Military, Terrorism and Gender 

5323 Eurasian Encounters: Reconciliations and Circulations 

5336 Iranian Diasporas 

5351 Politics & Identity in the Arab States of the Gulf 

5362 Topics in Arabic Language 

5:30 p.m.

5290 Diaspora Politics and Middle East Homeland 

5303 Modernizing Hegemony and Discourse  

5333 Artistic Responses to the War in Syria 

5350 Islamist Politics of the Contemporary Middle East 

5364 Travels and Encounters 

Sunday, November 18

8:30 a.m.

5306 Arab Diasporas in Latin America 

5327 Modern and Contemporary Turkish Literature 

5343 Urban Development across the Middle East 

5349 Identity and Political Mobilization in Contemporary Lebanon 

5353 Refugees Labor Migrants Aid Workers 

5358 Medieval Art & Culture 

11:00 a.m.

5285 Parties, National Dialogues and Elections In Contemporary Middle East Politics 

5293 Transgressions and Transgenders 

5300 Ottoman and Turkish Intellectual Themes 

5317 Religious Minorities at Home and Abroad 

5368 Late Ottoman Political Economy and Urban Reform

1:30 p.m.

5296 Refugees and Migrants in the Contemporary Middle East 

5297 Cold War 

5324 Expressions of Masculinity in Iran 

5325 Political Legitimacy in Masnawis & Advice Literature 

5326 Music and Resistance 

5337 Kurds and Turcomen in the Current Crisis in the Levant 

5339 Contemporary Tunisian Politics 

Stay Connected

MESA offers several ways to stay connected, including a young-people-approved presence on Facebook and Twitter, oldie but goodie listservs, and trusty email notifications. To find out more, please follow the link below.

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