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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. 



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     Shari'a, dissection and justice in modern Egypt 
     2018 Annual Lecture
     Professor Khaled Fahmy, University of Cambridge

       17.30pm, Tuesday 20th November
       Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS

This lecture describes the process of the introduction of modern medicine in early nineteenth-century Egypt. It describes how dissection was instituted as a central practice in the Qasr al-'Aini School of Medicine, Egypt's first institution of modern medicine founded in 1827. It charts how different segments of Egyptian society understood and reacted to this disturbing practice. It also follows the increasing reliance of a budding legal system on autopsies as a prime means to establish legal proof in criminal cases. As such, the lecture suggests how forensic medicine can be a lens through which we can study the implementation of shari'a in a modern state context. 

Tickets are available here.


leeds careers event 

   Middle East Careers | 17.00 - 19.00 | 
   Thursday, 8 November 
   University of Manchester


BRISMES and the University of Manchester will be hosting a careers evening for students interested in or working on the Middle East.  There will a panel discussion with professionals from different sectors including academia, business and the diplomatic service, followed by a networking reception where students will have an opportunity to question the panellists informally. 

Panel participants:

Stuart Laing, former Ambassador to Kuwait and President of BRISMES;
Robert Lowe, Deputy Director of the Middle East Centre, LSE and Executive Director of BRISMES;
Maria Marsh, Comissionning Editor, Middle East | Cambridge University Press;
Zahia Smail Salhi, Professor of Modern Arabic Studies and Vice-President of BRISMES | University of Manchester;
Mina Toksoz, emerging markets and country risk consultant and former head of Country Risk at Standard Bank International.

The panel discussion will be followed by a question and answer session and a drinks reception in the Drum Foyer, University Place, where students will have an opportunity for informal discussion with the panel members.

All welcome but registration required.  Please book your ticket here.


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     BRISMES Annual Conference 2019

     Joining the Dots:
     Interdisciplinarity in Middle East Studies
     University of Leeds | 24-27 June 2019

Call for papers here.
Deadline for submissions: 17:00 (GMT) on Thursday 8 November 2018

Recent BRISMES Actions

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BRISMES statement on the detention of Matthew Hedges
BRISMES protests against Israeli violations of Palestinian academic freedom.
Read BRISMES' Urgent Call to show support for the Central European University in Hungary (April 2017) and statement on Trump's      Executive Order on Immigration (January 2017).
BRISMES is now a signatory to the MESA Statement on academic freedom in Turkey (21 July 2016).

Read the text of BRISMES' message to President Al-Sisi regarding the death of Giulio Regeni (6 February 2016) and follow up message to Alastair Burt, cc HE Mr Geoffrey Adams, British Ambassador to Cairo.
Read the text of BRISMES' message in support of colleagues in Turkey (19 January 2016). 

BRISMES Annual Conference 2018


Write-ups on the 2018 Conference are now available.  Details 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 radicalisation'?

Joint Annual Lecture with BRAIS

We are very pleased to announce that a text of Professor Roy's lecture 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.

Leonard Lewisohn

We are sorry to announce the death of Leonard Lewisohn and offer our condolences to his colleagues, friends and family.

 2017 Information Pack 

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