Graphic version of this page

The British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (popularly known as BRISMES) was established in 1973 to encourage and promote the study of the Middle East in the United Kingdom.  We are the UK's premier Middle East Studies association.  We bring together teachers, researchers, students, diplomats, journalists and others who deal professionally with the Middle East. 

At the national level the Society pursues a concerted strategy by impressing on national, governmental and university bodies the importance of safeguarding and expanding Middle Eastern studies.  Our links overseas make the Society the foremost channel through which scholars outside Britain may create co-opeerative links with UK-based researchers.

We publish the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies which our members receive as part of the membership package.  We organise public lectures, and our Annual Conference attracts speakers and delegates from all over the world and is often the largest gathering of Middle Eastern scholars in the UK. 



Our Administrator (Louise Haysey) is on Sick Leave and so there is a delay in answering emails. We apologise for the inconvenience. We wish Louise a speedy recovery. For the time being please email the BRISMES Secretary, John Chalcraft, on  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Image of Leeds fewer pixels 

BRISMES Annual Conference 2019

Joining the Dots: 
Interdisciplinarity in Middle East Studies
University of Leeds | 24-26 June 2019

Delegates to this year's annual conference heard 
two brilliant keynote addresses by
Mona Harb and Salman Sayyid to look forward to! 
See here for their keynote titles & abstracts.


For BRISMES statements on various infringements to academic freedom, please see here.   

Research for Giulio Regeni

On 10-11 May 2018, BRISMES representatives Professor Paul Starkey and Dr Alam Saleh attended an international initiative organised by SeSaMO, BRISMES and ASAI, with the sponsorship of EURAMES.  The event was held at the universities of Messina and Catania.  The Study Days focused on the present-day political and cultural situation in Egypt, on media coverage of the Regeni case, on Italo-Egyptian relations and on the peculuar nature of Area Studies fieldwork.  It is hoped that the papers presented will be published.

Further information.

jihad shutterstock 267297464

  Speaking of jihad, what do we mean by 'religious

   Joint Annual Lecture with BRAIS


Quran and stethoscope

  Shari'a, dissection and justice in modern Egypt   

   Professor Khaled Fahmy, University of Cambridge


We are very pleased to announce that a text of both lectures will appear in the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies in due course.  

lse mec logo1

Middle East Careers

Podcast of the event

Arabic Mapping Project

On 25 May 2018, the British Academy launched a pilot for a project aiming to map foreign language teaching and research in the UK education sector.

Starting with Arabic, the interactive map shows teaching provision, capacity and pathways of the language, from secondary school to postdoctoral research on the culture and history of the Arabophone world.

2017 Information Pack 

 Header Globe Image Credit: 'The Middle East', © Richard Clifford via Flickr.