MESA - Middle East Studies Association

About MESA


The Middle East Studies Association (MESA) is a private, non-profit learned society that brings together scholars, educators and those interested in the study of the region from all over the world. MESA is primarily concerned with the area encompassing Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Israel, Pakistan, and the countries of the Arab World 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. From its inception in 1966 with 50 founding members, MESA has increased its membership to more than 2,700 and now serves as an umbrella organization for more than sixty institutional members and thirty-nine affiliated organizations. The association is a constituent society of the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Council of Area Studies Associations, and a member of the National Humanities Alliance.

As part of its goal to advance learning, facilitate communication and promote cooperation, MESA sponsors an annual meeting that is a leading international forum for scholarship, intellectual exchange and pedagogical innovation. It is responsible for the International Journal of Middle East Studies, the premiere journal on the region, the MESA Review of Middle East Studies and a biannual newsletter. An awards program recognizes scholarly achievement, service to the profession and exemplary student mentoring. MESA is governed by an nine-member Board of Directors elected by the membership.

Mission Statement

The Middle East Studies Association (MESA) is a non-profit association that fosters the study of the Middle East, promotes high standards of scholarship and teaching, and encourages public understanding of the region and its peoples through programs, publications and services that enhance education, further intellectual exchange, recognize professional distinction, and defend academic freedom in accordance with its status as a 501(c)(3) scientific, educational, literary, and charitable organization.

Honorary Fellows

MESA’s Honorary Fellows are outstanding internationally recognized scholars who have made major contributions to Middle East studies. Honorary Fellows are nominated by MESA’s Board of Directors and conferred by a vote of members at the annual members meeting. MESA can have a maximum of 10 Honorary Fellows at any given time.

  • Talal Asad
  • Suraiya Faroqhi
  • Nikki R. Keddie
  • Afaf Lutfi Al-Sayyid Marsot
  • Roger Owen
  • Abdul-Karim Rafeq
  • Josef van Ess
  • John Waterbury






    Sir Hamilton Gibb (1970-1971)
    Philip K. Hitti (1970-1978)
    S.D. Goitein (1971-1985)
    Aziz Atiya (1971-1991)
    Claude Cahen (1981-1992)
    Albert Hourani (1981-1993)
    Majid Khadduri (1981-2007)
    W. Montgomery Watt (1985-2006)
    Charles Issawi (1988-2002)
    Ann K.S. Lambton (1988-2008)

    Maxime Rodinson (1988-2004)


    Annemarie Schimmel (1989-2003)
    Jacques Berque (1994-1995)
    André Raymond (1994-2011)
    Halil Inalcik (1994-2016)
    Muhsin S. Mahdi (1995-2007)
    Edward Said (1999-2003)
    Oleg Grabar (2002-2011)
    Elizabeth Fernea (2003-2008)
    Kamal Salibi (2007-2011)

    Farhat Ziadeh (2012-2014)


International Journal of Middle East Studies

Akram Khater, Editor
Jeffrey Culang, Managing Editor
Megan Cullen, Book Review Editor
Department of History
Box 8108
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-8108


MESA Review of Middle East Studies

Heather Ferguson, Editor
Kelsey Cherland, Managing Editor
Department of History
Claremont McKenna College
850 Columbia Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711

Issues in Middle East Studies

Sara L. Palmer, Editor
Middle East Studies Association
3542 N. Geronimo Avenue
Tucson AZ 85705
520 333-2577 ext. 103 phone
520 207-3166 fax


Mark J. Lowder
Assistant Director
520 333-2577 ext. 105

Sara L. Palmer
Manager, External Relations
520 333-2577 ext. 103

Rose Veneklasen  

Rose Veneklasen
Program Coordinator
520-333-2577 ext. 102


 Start of Page