At its most recent congress in Washington, the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) presented the 2014 Jere L. Bacharach Service Award to Professor Günter Meyer, an economic and social geographer based in Mainz and head of the Center for Research on the Arab World at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). This is the first time a European scholar has received the award. In its award certificate, MESA emphasized Meyer's tireless efforts to improve communication and interaction between previously separated, different areas of European scholarship: "This award honors his vision and skill in establishing new institutional networks to the benefit of scholars around the world." With its roughly 3,000 members, MESA is the world's largest interdisciplinary association focusing on research in the areas of humanities and social science in the Middle East.
Professor Günter Meyer has been involved since the 1990s in the creation of a close-knit media-oriented organizational network of institutions working in the field of Middle Eastern studies, first at the national, then the European, and finally the global level, which now includes thousands of scholars. MESA also highlighted Meyer's efforts on behalf of the German Middle East Studies Association for Contemporary Research and Documentation (DAVO), of which he was re-elected Chairman in September 2104 for a further four years. MESA additionally emphasized his commitment as the President of the European Association for Middle Eastern Studies (EURAMES) and particularly his services in establishing the World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies (WOCMES), thus creating a "vibrant platform for the exchange of research and scholarship."
Under the special direction of Professor Günter Meyer, the first World Congress was organized in 2002. This attracted some 2,100 scholars from 68 countries and 126 representatives of the international media to the campus of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. Thanks to its resounding success, WOCMES has been held every four years since. Meyer also acted as Chairman of the Advisory Council of WOCMES for its meetings in Amman/Jordan, in Barcelona, and in Ankara in August 2014. Preparations began a few weeks ago for the fourth WOCMES, which is to be held in 2018.
Since 1997, MESA has been presenting the Jere L. Bacharach Service Award at its annual meeting to an individual who has provided exceptional services to Middle Eastern Studies. The award has previously only been given to academics from North America.
Professor Virginia Aksan, member of the MESA Board, handing the award to Professor Günter Meyer (photo: MESA)
Professor Dr. Günter Meyer
Center for Research on the Arab World (CERAW)
Institute of Geography
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
D 55099 Mainz, GERMANY
phone +49 6131 39-22701
fax +49 6131 39-24736