Sponsored MESA Panels

Each year, 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”