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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. 



BRISMES is moving from Durham University and hiring a new adminstrator. During the transition, please send all enquiries to the BRISMES Secretary, John Chalcraft, on  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Don't miss the BRISMES Annual Lecture: 

The Corporeal Life of Commerce at Sea

Professor Laleh Khalili, 18 November 2019, King's College London, Institute of Middle Eastern Studies

For details and to register click here.

BRISMES Annual Conference 2020

Knowledge, Power, and Middle Eastern Studies
University of Kent | 29 June - 1 July 2020

Click here for the Call for Papers.


Announcing the BRAIS - De Gruyter Prize Competition

The Fifth Round of the BRAIS – De Gruyter Prize for the best doctoral thesis or unpublished first monograph in the Study of Islam and the Muslim World is now open for submissions. Hurry as the deadline is 1 October 2019. For further information click here.


For BRISMES statements on 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.

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  Speaking of jihad, what do we mean by 'religious

   Joint Annual Lecture with BRAIS


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  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.  

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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.