About Exeter

The 2023 BRISMES Annual Conference will be hosted by the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies (IAIS) at the University of Exeter. We’ve included some useful information below about Exeter and the University.


Dating back to Roman times, Exeter is an ancient and unique city on the river Exe in southwest England. It is the capital of Devon but is also a relatively small city making it easy to explore the historical landmarks and stunning landscapes that can be found in and around Exeter. Exeter's city centre has also recently been named the greenest in Britain, and while your main reason for visiting may be the conference, we hope that you will be able to make time to see some of the other treats Exeter has to offer.

Things to do & see

About Exeter

Exeter is also home to some great restaurants, theatres and music venues. For more information about Exeter and what’s on, take a look at the Visit Exeter website: https://www.visitexeter.com/

'Exeter Quayside' image by Tony Cobley

University of Exeter

About Exeter

The University of Exeter is a public research university with campuses in southwest England, in Exeter and Cornwall. In 1922, its founding institution, the Exeter School of Art and Science (1851), became part of the University College of the South West. After receiving its Charter in 1955, it became the University of Exeter.

'Streatham Campus' image by Pierre Terre (cc by-sa 2.0)

About Exeter

Nowadays, the University extends over three campuses, Streatham Campus and St. Luke in Exeter, Devon and Penryn Campus in Cornwall, which host over 25,000 students from 130 countries, providing a truly global and diverse learning environment. In the centre of the Exeter Campus sits the stunning and newly built Forum, featuring a refurbished library which houses The Middle East Collections. This is also where the next BRISMES Annual Conference will take place!

'The Forum' image by University of Exeter (cc-by-2.0)

Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies (IAIS)

The Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies (IAIS) at the University of Exeter offers interdisciplinary research and degree programmes in the fields of Arab, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. It is housed in the IAIS building, constructed in 2001 and evokes architectural styles of the region. On the building's lower floor, the renowned Arab World Documentation Unit (AWDU) provides unique collections on Arab Gulf states (over 100,000 items!) and the wider MENA region.

 IAIS includes several research centres focused on sub-regional specialist areas:

Scholars in these research centres explore a wide range of themes, including:

  • Ethnicity, nationalism and identity;
  • Contemporary Middle Eastern politics, economics and international relations;
  • Classic literature, history and religious studies;
  • Ethnic conflict, cultural production, and memory;
  • Tribalism, gender studies, colonial studies, democratization and security;
  • Archaeology and material culture;
  • The history of magic, occult, and esoteric literature;
  • Middle Eastern languages.

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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