ACOR at the MESA Annual Meeting 2021

Congratulations to all of the former ACOR fellows whose papers were accepted to the Annual Meeting of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), to be held in Montréal, Québec, Canada, at the Palais des congrès October 28–31, 2021. In addition, a limited number of virtual sessions will convene later on December 2-3, 2021.

ACOR board member Seteney Shami (founding director of the Arab Council for the Social Sciences) will chair the “Eco-Systems of Research in the Middle East and North Africa” session. Dr. Shami gave an ACOR lecture (via Zoom) on May 17, 2021, on “The Landscape of Research in Jordan and in the Arab Region: Challenges, Transformations, Prospects,” which you can watch on our website.

Dozens of ACOR alumni (see our alumni database) are presenting or serving as panelists year, including:

José Ciro Martínez (2015–2016 ACOR CAORC Fellow; University of Cambridge), co-organizer and presenter of the panel “State and the City: Presences and Absences in the Mashreq

Fred M. Donner (2000–2001 ACOR NEH Fellow, Professor of Near Eastern History, University of Chicago) chairing “The Late Antique in Early Islam: Pre-Islamic Heritage in Early Islamic Politics, Poetics, and Science

Michaelle L. Browers (1997–1998 NMERTP Fellow and 2002-2003 CAORC Fellow; Professor of Politics, Wake Forest University) chairing “Grassroots Politics in post-2011 Middle East

Mansoor Moaddel (1996–1997 NMERTP Fellow; Professor of Sociology, University of Maryland) presenting “Trend in Values in Egypt, Tunisia, and Turkey: Findings from Three Waves of A Panel Survey

Laurie Brand (University of Southern California) will be a discussant in the session “Interrogating Citizenship in the Middle East.”

Lillian Frost (Virginia Polytechnic Institute) organized the “Interrogating Citizenship in the Middle East” session and will present on “Citizenship Spectrums: Misalignments of Nationality, Passports, and Belonging among Palestinian Protracted Refugees in Jordan.”

Morgen Chalmiers (University of California, San Diego) will present on “Gratitude to God within Islamic Doctrine and Practice” in the session “Contemporary Islamic Discourses: Jihad, the Self, and Travelling Symbols.”

Julia Gettle (Brown University) will present “‘We All Were Arrested’: Arab Nationalist and Marxist Activists and the Rise of the Eastern Mediterranean Security State, 1950–1970” in the session “Beyond Discipline: Faith, Gender, and the Surveilled Society of the Lsate Mediterranean.”

Bridget Guarasci (Franklin and Marshall College) organized the session “Art and Revolution in Iraq” and will present “Thinking about Iraq’s Marshes with Dia Azzawi and Muzaffar al-Nawwab.”

Frances Hasso (Duke University) will present “‘Children Are the Treasure and Property of the Nation’: Eugenics and Mothercraft in Colonial Palestine” in the session “Rethinking Race as an Analytic in the Early Twentieth Century.”

Seteney Shami (Arab Council for the Social Sciences) will chair the session “Eco-Systems of Research in the Middle East and North Africa.”

Charlotte Vekemans (Ghent University) will present on “Instrumentalizing the Past to Guarantee Political Stability: Heritage Development in Jordan” in the session “Critical Perspectives on Development Aid and Governance.”

Patricia Ward (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity) organized the session “About Time: Theorizing Temporal Constructions of Belonging in the Contemporary Levant” and will present “Pacing in Place: Turnover Time and Jordanians’ Upward Mobility in the Transnational Aid Sector.”

To explore the full, searchable MESA program online, please visit We also encourage you to learn more about this year’s fellowship awards at

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