MESAAS Graduate Student Conference 2017

Knox Hall, Columbia University

February 23, 2017 – February 24, 2017

The MESAAS Graduate Student Conference is an annual event organized by the graduate students of Columbia University’s Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies. The conference brings together graduate students working on the social and intellectual traditions of those three regions for constructive exchanges in a welcoming and stimulating environment. Through these exchanges, participants have the opportunity to capitalize on each others' diverse range of backgrounds by exploring common theoretical and methodological challenges and concerns, and by being exposed to new insights of value to their graduate-level work and future academic careers.




RSVP for the conference:  
Posted: 2017-02-12

Conference Program


The program for this conference is available via the following link. (De)Stabilizing Disciplines, (Re)Imagining Regions MESAAS Graduate Conference 2017

Posted: 2017-02-12

(De)Stabilizing Disciplines, (Re)Imagining Regions

Posted: 2017-02-07

Racist Execuvite Order by the Trump Administration


In the wake of President Trump's discriminatory Executive Order, we stand in solidarity with those directly affected by the ban on refugees and nationals from the seven Muslim-majority countries who are no longer able to attend this conference.

For those who have been accepted to this conference but are unable to travel, we invite you to skype into the conference to make your presentation and take part in discussion with other scholars.

MESAAS is active in protesting the executive order because we also have dual nationals and Iranians who are now trapped or barred from travel. Our department is petitioning our university to take concrete steps to protect those affected. We stand in solidarity with them and intend to use our conference platform for political mobilization.

Posted: 2017-01-30

Extended Deadline - Call for Papers 2017

We are pleased to announce that we have extended the deadline for submissions to the 8th of January, so please find below our most recently updated Call for Papers.

Some users have reported technical difficulties with the online submission process. If you run into problems, please contact us at, and attach a copy of your abstract and CV.

Please create an account in order to upload your abstracts and references. Remember to check the "Author" box at the bottom of the registration page.

Presenters will be notified of their acceptance by the end of January. Happy New Year!
Posted: 2016-12-31 More...

Uploading Abstracts

Please create an account in order to upload your abstracts and references.  
Posted: 2016-11-10

Travel Grants, VISAS & Lodging


We have a limited budget only to subsidize the travel of accepted presenters coming from abroad. Funds will be distributed to presenters once the review process is finalized and is based on a case by case review. There is no travel or lodging offered for general attendees.

The Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies will provide a letter of invitation to assist accepted presenters in acquiring visas for travel. A request for a letter of invitation can be made by sending an email to

Posted: 2016-11-10

Call for Papers


“(De)Stabilizing Disciplines, (Re)Imagining Regions”

MESAAS Graduate Student Conference, 23-24 February 2017

Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies

Columbia University in the City of New York

Submission Deadline: 1 January, 2017

The Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies  at Columbia University is pleased to invite abstract submissions for the MESAAS Graduate Student Conference 2017, which will take place on 23-24 February, at Columbia University. We invite graduate students of all disciplines and stages of study related to the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa to present their latest research to a supportive, critical audience.

Disciplines constrain and enable; produce and displace. Certain regions have also proven central to the formation of our modern disciplinary divisions and their epistemological underpinnings. Is it possible to imagine an academic exchange not only across and between disciplines, but also in sites of knowledge production that lie outside of these boundaries?

This year’s MESAAS Graduate Conference encourages submissions that seek to problematize disciplinary and spatial constraints. We therefore welcome submissions from students whose work, though grounded in a particular field or region, challenges disciplinary and regional singularity.

This year’s themes for the conference include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

  • Literature and Aesthetics

  • Postcolonial Theory

  • Political Economy

  • Secularism and its Anthropology

  • Philology

  • Empire and Knowledge Production

  • Philosophies of subalterns


Students interested in presenting a paper should register an account and submit a 300 word abstract through the conference website: by January 1, 2017.

Notifications will be sent by the end of January.

For other inquiries, please contact us via:
Posted: 2016-10-17 More...
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MESAAS Graduate Conference 2018

Conference Information

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