Middle East Studies Forum
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The Middle East Studies Forum (MESF) is a cross-institutional, cross-disciplinary research forum focused on research into the Middle East. The MESF is a collaborative research network open to researchers, research students, policy-makers, media professionals and anyone interested in the region.
This thematic research group focuses on the following topics in relation to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA):
- The rapidly changing nature of civil society and democracy in the contemporary MENA;
- Defining the 'Middle East' and examining how it has been constructed and understood in the 'West';
- The complex and overlapping histories of the region and its myriad languages, cultures and political movements;
- The need for innovative undergraduate teaching and the supervision of higher degree work in the field;
- Utilising inter-disciplinary approaches and methodologies as the basis for understanding the complexities of the region.
The MESF was originally founded as The Australian Middle East Research Forum (AMERF) by Fethi Mansouri and Sally Totman in 2006. It was re-launched under the new name of The Middle East Studies Forum (MESF) in 2014 and is currently convened by Benjamin Isakhan and constituted by a group of world-leading researchers and lecturers in the field of Middle East studies and languages. It is well placed to conduct and collaborate on high-profile international research and teaching initiatives relating to the MENA. In addition, the MESF regularly hosts international and national events and seminars with a focus on Australia and its relationship with the MENA region.