Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa
The Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA) is an American learned society, dedicated to promoting research and teaching in Middle Eastern and African studies, and related fields. It was founded on October 24, 2007 by Bernard Lewis (Princeton University) and Fouad Ajami (Hoover Institution) as a rival to the learned society Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) as it was regarded to have become "dominated by academics who have been critical of Israel and of America's role in the Middle East."
ASMEA states that its mission "is to be a non-partisan, non-profit organization that promotes the highest standards of academic research and teaching in the fields of Middle Eastern and African studies and related disciplines through programs, publications, and services that support its members and the international community of scholars and interested members of the public."
ASMEA is administrated by Mark T. Clark (California State University at San Bernardino, President), J. Peter Pham (Atlantic Council, Vice President), and Joseph Skelly (College of Mount Saint Vincent, Secretary, Treasurer).
ASMEA’s inaugural conference — entitled The Evolution of Islamic Politics, Philosophy, and Culture in the Middle East and Africa: From Traditional Limits to Modern Extremes — was held in Washington, D.C., April 24-26, 2008. The conference featured a combination of panels and roundtables with academics and policy makers focused on the Islamic influence in these regions. The Association's chairman Bernard Lewis delivered the keynote address entitled "Studying the Other: Different Ways of Looking at the Middle East and Africa", in which he discussed the threat to the freedom of scholarly inquiry regarding these two regions and the prospects for enhancing the body of knowledge in an open and inter-disciplinary manner.
ASMEA has held four conferences since its inaugural conference in 2008.
- Second Annual ASMEA Conference: The Middle East and Africa: Historic Connections and Strategic Bridges was held in Washington, D.C., October 22-24, 2009. ASMEA chairman Bernard Lewis delivered the keynote speech. The 2009 conference featured special presentations from John Bolton, Former United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations; Gérard Prunier, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris; and Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez, the authors of the award-winning book Foxbats Over Dimona: The Soviets' Nuclear Gamble in the Six-Day War.Additionally, the conference included an important panel sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps University (MCU).
- Third Annual ASMEA Conference: The Middle East and Africa in the 21st Century: Local Trends, Regional Challenges, Global Impacts was held in Washington, D.C., November 4-6, 2010. Remarks were made by Professor Bernard Lewis with the keynote titled "How to Stop Failing, From Israel to Pakistant" was delivered by Dr. Leslie H. Gelb (Council on Foreign Relations).
- Fourth Annual ASMEA Conference: Out of the Past, Into the Future: Reflections on the Middle East and Africa held in Washington, D.C., November 3-5, 2011. Opening remarks were given by His Excellency Ali Suleiman Aujali, Ambassador of Libya. The keynote address was delivered by His Excellency Barham Salih, Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region.
- Fifth Annual ASMEA Conference: History and the "New" Middle East and Africa was held in Washington, D.C., October 11-13, 2012. Opening remarks were delivered by Her Excellency Houda Ezra Nonoo, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain. The keynote speech was presented by acclaimed scholar Dr. Gérard Prunier on Gaddafi's Downfall and its Impact on Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Sixth Annual ASMEA Conference entitled, Tides of Change: Looking Back and Forging Ahead in the Middle East & Africa, will be held in Washington, D.C. on November 21-23, 2013.
- Group Formed To Improve Middle East Scholarship, Annie Karni, New York Sun, November 8, 2007
- The Electronic Intifada, 20 November 2007: New Middle East scholars group seen as close to White House Retrieved 2012-09-22
- Inside Higher Ed, November 2, 2007: A Different View of the Middle East Retrieved 2012-09-22
- FrontPage Magazine, January 16: Seeking True Diversity in Middle East Studies Retrieved 22/09/2012
- ASMEA website: ASMEA Mission Statement Retrieved 2012-09-22
- ASMEA website: ASMEA Officers Retrieved 2012-09-22
- ASMEA website: ASMEA 2008 Conference Papers Retrieved 2012-09-22
- ASMEA website: 2008 Conference Highlights Retrieved 2012-09-22