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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-operative 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 2020 Conference Postponed

In light of the rapidly-evolving public health situation connected to the COVID-19 outbreak, the BRISMES Annual Conference (29 June – 1 July 2020) has been postponed.  The conference will now take place 28-30 April 2021 at the University of Kent.  We are happy to confirm that Professor Pinar Bilgin of Bilkent Univeristy and Professor Caroline Rooney of the University of Kent will still be our keynote speakers. Please visit the conference website for more details. 

- 8 April 2020

Contacting BRISMES 

If you need to contact BRISMES, please do so by emailing  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  As advised by the government, we are currently working from home and are unable to pick up any post. 

- 25 March 2020

Letter from MESA to Durham University 

The Middle East Studies Association (MESA) has published a letter to the Vice-Chancellor of Durham University expressing its grave concern at the university’s decision to withdraw administrative services from BRISMES.  The letter is available to read in full on the MESA website.

- 12 March 2020

BRISMES Committee on Academic Freedom

The BRISMES Committee on Academic Freedom was set up to monitor and defend academic freedom in the research, study and teaching of Middle East Studies in the UK and anywhere in the world, including in academic institutions in the Middle East and North Africa.

All statements from the BRISMES Committee on Academic Freedom are available to read on the website under Advocacy

Listen to the 2019 BRISMES Annual Lecture 

You can listen to a recording of Professor Laleh Khalili's lecture 'The Corporeal Life of Commerce at Sea' here


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