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. To learn more about how the committee works, please see the Terms of Reference.

The current Chair of the BRISMES Committee on Academic Freedom is Neve Gordon (Professor of Human Rights Law, Queen Mary University of London)

BRISMES Subcommittees

In April 2020, BRISMES Council agreed to the creation of subcommittees to improve the governance of BRISMES. With the exception of the BJMES editor and the Graduate Section presidents, each member of Council volunteers to sit on at least one subcommittee. The committees report to Council every four months (in conjunction with Council meetings) and are made up as follows:


Role: to oversee and assist in the sound financial administration of BRISMES finances, including initiatives to increase and diversify income and suggestions for efficiency savings. 

Members: Waseem Farooq (Chair), Lewis Turner, Neve Gordon


Role: to oversee and assist in the production of the newsletter, social media postings and website content. 

Members: Feras Alkabani (Chair), Cailin Kwoh, Jack McGinn

Prizes, Awards & Scholarships

Role: to oversee the judging of the Leigh Douglas Memorial Prize; to fundraise for the Solidarity Fund and assist in making decisions on applications to the fund; to oversee the newly established Early Career Development Prize and Conference Student Paper Prize; to suggest new awards/prizes/grants.

Members: Sharri Plonski (Chair), Hanaa Almoaibed, Marianna Charountaki


Role: to oversee and assist in improving membership services and increasing membership.

Members: Wassim Naboulsi (Chair)

Public Outreach & Pedagogy

Role: to take a lead and assist in raising the profile of BRISMES and its ability to influence research, teaching and public awareness of the Middle East and its languages and cultures in progressive ways through events and the development/dissemination of relevant resources.

Members: Paola Rivetti (Chair), Sophie Chama, Sabiha Allouche

BRISMES Representatives

BRISMES is a member of the Alliance of Modern Languages, Area Studies and Linguistics Subject Associations UK (AMLUK) and the University Council For Languages (UCFL) and is an affiliate of the Arts and Humanities Alliance (AHA).

The BRISMES representative for the above organisations is Dr Hanem El-Farahaty (Associate Professor in Arabic Language, Translation and Interpreting at the University of Leeds).

Database of Expertise

The Database of Expertise in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies provides a publicly available list of MENA experts with their research and areas of expertise.

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