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Organizations Issue Joint Solidarity Statement in Support of Pending MESA Bylaw Amendment

[Map of Middle East and North Africa region without state borders] [Map of Middle East and North Africa region without state borders]

[The following letter was issued by the below listed organizations in support of the pending MESA bylaw amendment that seeks to remove the term "non-political" while re-emphasizing the organization's 501(c)3 status. For more the the text of the amendment and how to vote, see below.]

Joint Solidarity Statement Regarding Pending MESA Bylaw Amendment

We are scholars studying the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region across a variety of disciplines, substantive topics, regional perspectives, languages, periods, and methodological approaches. Yet we all understand that knowledge production and our own scholarly output is often regarded by the governments of the region, as well as Western governments, as political. The struggle to protect freedom of thought, opinion, expression, and association, as well as the right to education, is at the heart of academic freedom. All of these rights are currently at risk in the MENA region and beyond. In order to defend our right to conduct research and produce scholarship and to acknowledge the struggles of so many academics and students in the region seeking to defend their rights to academic freedom and to access education we sometimes have to embrace political engagement ourselves. For these reasons, we believe that a true commitment to fostering academic exchange, intellectual collaboration and knowledge production sits uncomfortably beside a commitment to being “non-political.”  

We believe that the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) should retain its fundamental character as an academic association committed to fostering education, academic exchange, and scholarly research without claiming to be “non-political.” We support the by-law amendment resolution currently being proposed to the MESA membership and believe that MESA should align itself with the many other scholarly associations that define their scholarly non-profit mission without any reference to being “non-political.”

Organizational Signatories

How to Vote [Vote "Yes"]

The general membership is currently voting on the amendment during the period between 1 February 2017 and through 15 March 2017. Only current MESA members (meaning individuals with a 2017 membership can vote in the election.]

  • To read the proposed amendment, click here. [Vote "Yes"]
  • If you are a current MESA member and would like to vote in this election, click here. [Vote "Yes"]
  • If you are a past member and would like to renew your member, log into MyMESA and renew your membership for 2017, and then proceed to the link for the ballot. [Vote "Yes"]

Track-Changes Display of Proposed MESA Bylaw Amendment





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