About MEM

Al-Idrisi's world map, 1154.

Middle East Medievalists (MEM) is an international professional non-profit association of scholars interested in the study of the Islamic lands of the Middle East during the medieval period (defined roughly as 500-1500 C.E.). MEM officially came into existence on 15 November 1989 at its first annual meeting, held in Toronto. MEM is a non-profit organization incorporated in the state of Illinois; contributions to MEM are considered exempt from federal income tax by the United States Internal Revenue Service.

MEM has two primary goals. The first is to increase the representation of medieval scholarship at scholarly meetings in North America and elsewhere by co-sponsoring panels. The other principal objective of MEM is to foster communication among individuals and organizations with an interest in the study of the medieval Middle East. MEM also hopes, in the future, to advance the study of the medieval Middle East by undertaking such projects as scholar exchanges, conferences, etc.

As part of its effort to promote scholarship and facilitate communication among its members, MEM publishes Al-ʿUsur al-Wusta: The Journal of Middle East Medievalists.

Since 1992, Al-ʿUsur al-Wusta has published short articles, information on scholarly meetings and resources, and reviews or notices of significant scholarly books published in the Middle East in local vernaculars (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish), because these works are generally not reviewed in Western journals and often remain poorly known or unknown to Western scholars. Members are invited voluntarily to submit brief notices or reviews of such works they may have read, and to submit news of new resources, future conferences, or other items deemed of interest to MEM’s membership, for publication in Al-ʿUsur al-Wusta.

In 2015, the long-established bulletin reinvented itself as an online, open source, and peer-reviewed journal.

News articles, suggestions, or queries about Al-ʿUsur al-Wusta should be sent to the current editors: Antoine Borrut (aborrut@umd.edu) or Matthew Gordon (gordonms@miamioh.edu).

MEM has two categories of membership, regular and honorary. Regular membership is open to all persons interested in any aspect of the history and civilization of the Middle East in the medieval period. Individual and institutional MEMbers can join MEM or renew their MEMbership through our website.

Honorary members is awarded by the Board of Directors of MEM to a few senior medievalists who have distinguished themselves in their teaching and research. Honorary membership is for life and is gratis.

Queries concerning membership should be sent to Antoine Borrut, Secretary of MEM, History Department, University of Maryland, 2115 Francis Scott Key Hall, College Park, MD 20742-7315, USA. E-mail: (middleeastmedievalists@gmail.com); Phone: 301-405-7448.

MEM conducts its business meeting annually in the autumn, normally in conjunction with the meeting of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), which is usually held in November. The general business meeting is open to all current members of MEM and to those considering membership. The Board of Directors of MEM is elected annually at the general business meeting, or by mail ballot.