Every year, the Middle East Medievalists welcomes applications for panel sponsorship at the MESA conference.


Geographical Cognizance of the Indian Ocean in West Eurasian Scientific and Political Practices, 700-1700

Chair & Discussant: Zayde Antrim

Organizer: Kaveh Hemmat

  • Hyunhee Park, “Mapping India in West Asia during the 7th through 14th Centuries”
  • Kaveh Hemmat, “The Geography of Kingship in Persian Epics, 1000 – 1400”
  • Malika Dekkiche, “A world of kings and realms”: Mamluk Diplomacy and the Spatial Turn”
  • Pinar Emiralioğlu, “Indian Ocean in Early Modern Ottoman Geographical and Imperial Consciousness”


 Slavery, Power, and the State in the Premodern Islamic World

Chair: Matthew Gordon

Organizer: Hannah Barker

  • Craig Perry, “Nubia, the Buja, and the Slave Trade at the Frontiers of Medieval Egypt”
  • Thomas Carlson, “Enslaving Dhimmis: Rulers, Fiqh, and Religious Diversity in Late Medieval Türkmen States”
  • Hannah Barker, “Flight, Apostasy, Murder: Resistance by Elite Slaves in the Mamluk Era”
  • Baki Tezcan, “Empowering the Emasculated: Arabic and Turkish Literary Sources on African Eunuchs”


Transitions in 7th-9th century Iraq and Syria: Muslims and non-Muslims

Chair: Alison Vacca

Discussant: Luke Yarbrough

Organizer: Pamela Klasova

  • Jessica Mutter, “Syriac Christian Responses to Islam: Conversion and Apostasy in the Legal Literature”
  • Pamela Klasova, “The Foundation of Wasit: History and Memory”
  • Michael Payne, “Zandaqa, Race, and the Reactionary Politics of al-Jahiz”
  • Simcha Gross, “From Local Community to Transregional Authorities: The spread of Babylonian Rabbinic Influence between the Sasanian and early Islamic periods”


“Macht” and “Herrschaft” in Persianate Chronicles from medieval and early modern India

Organizer & Chair: Tilmann Trausch

  • Stephan Conermann, “Narratological Approaches to Abd al-Malik Isami’s (fl. 1350) Epic Futuh al-salatin
  • Blain Auer, “Islamic Genealogies of Prophets and Persian Kings”
  • Florian Saalfeld, “How to herald a future ruler: The depiction of Ghiyāth al-Dīn Balban (r. 1266-87) in the Ṭabaqāt-i Nāṣirī of Minhāj al-Sirāj Jūzjānī”
  • Anna Kollatz, “Communicating Macht and Examples from the early Shāh Jahānī period” 

Constructing and Contesting Scholarly Authority in Syria and Egypt 1200-1400

Organizer: Jon Hoover

Chair & Respondent: Zayde Antrim

  • Rodrigo Adem, Mamluk Syria as Arabo-Islamic Archive: Urban Spaces, Scholarly Networks, and Manuscript Cultures“
  • Mariam Sheibani, “From Khorasan and Iraq to Damascus: Fault Lines in Shafi’ism in Ayyubid Damascus”
  • Mohammed Al Dhfar, “Sustaining Shafi‘i precedence: Taqi al-Din al-Subki on the punishment for cursing the Prophet”
  • Jon Hoover, “Ibn Taymiyya’s confession of Ash‘ari doctrine to procure release from prison in 1307”


Frontier Myth Making in the eastern lands of the early Islamic world

Organizer: Robert Haug

  • Christine Baker, “Conflict and Exchange on the Frontier: Paper Making and the Myth of the Battle of Talas”
  • Robert Haug, “Heroics and Rebellion in the Stories of `Abdallah b. Khazim and the Conquest of Khurasan”
  • Brian Ulrich, “Al-Muhallab and the al-‘Ilafis: The Historiographic Problem of Muslims Who Didn’t Conquer”