The IIS is involved in a number of activities at this year's annual MESA meeting. Most prominent amongst these is the panel presentation, “Representations of Ismailism”, which explores ways in which “Ismailism” has been constructed, understood, and presented in academic and historical contexts. This panel includes presentations both by the Institute's faculty and others engaged in the field of Ismaili studies. The Institute is also participating in two other sessions: “Defining Orthodoxy and the Internal Other”, and “Stories and Lives: Memoirs, Narratives and Poetry”.
In addition to the various academic papers being presented at MESA, the IIS is also hosting a reception to launch its two latest publications to the academic community: Nasir Khusraw, The Ruby of Badakhshan: A Portrait of the Persian Poet, Traveller and Philosopher, and Early Shi‘i Thought: The Teachings of Imam al-Baqir.
The reception will also introduce the Institute's website as an important academic resource for Islamic and Ismaili studies.
MESA, established in 1966 with 50 founding members, today has a membership of more than 2,600. Its annual meetings attract scholars from a variety of disciplines and fields interested in the study of the Middle East, North Africa, and the larger Muslim world. In addition to its annual meetings, MESA also publishes the International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies in association with Cambridge University Press and the MESA Bulletin.