MESSA is a graduate student organization that promotes and sponsors academic, social, and cultural activities related to the study of the Middle East. In conjunction with the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, MESSA brings students from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds together in exploration of the region’s dynamic and diverse past and present.


Lights is the official journal of MESSA. Published bi-annually, Lights assembles both scholarly and creative works pertaining to a particular theme of import for the study of the Middle East. Lights is an interdisciplinary project, highlighting the diversity of approaches taken to explore the diversity of the region. Lights is funded in part by Student Government.

Speaker Series

MESSA welcomes distinguished scholars to speak to a UChicago audience. This series (funded by both Student Government and CMES) is open to all students. Check out our schedule for more information! 

Opportunities Abound!

Visit our academic opportunities page to browse fellowships, study abroad programs, and calls for paper. See upcoming deadlines and access links to learn more.

Hang out with us!

MESSA hosts a number of social events for CMES students throughout the quarter. Check out our schedule of virtual game nights, dinner parties, themed evenings, cook-alongs, and more!

Contact Us

Questions? Concerns? Suggestions? 

Get Involved with MESSA

Have an idea for an event? Want to bring a speaker to campus? We can help execute your vision.