MESEA – The Society for Multi-Ethnic Studies: Europe and the Americas was founded in 1998 in response to the challenge of ethnic studies in a time of increasing globalization to provide an international forum for interdisciplinary discussion on multiethnic studies. The Society promotes the study of the ethnic cultures of Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas in their circumatlantic relations from a transdisciplinary literary, historical and cultural studies perspective.

The society acts as a forum for cooperation between universities, political institutions, and ethnic communities and supports the scholarly and cultural exchange among them in order to further intercultural understanding. MESEA currently has over 250 members from 35 countries.

MESEA holds its biennial conference in the spring, an event that brings together hundreds of international scholars to discuss issues related to these concerns. Conference topics have included: the place of ethnic communities in democratic societies, comparative perspectives on ethnic studies, ethnic lifewritings and histories, questions of migration, and sites of ethnicity. These meetings have been held in Heidelberg, Germany (1998); Orleans, France (2000); Padua, Italy (2002); Thessaloniki, Greece (2004); Pamplona, Spain (2006); Leiden, Netherlands (2008); Pécs, Hungary (2010); Barcelona, Spain (2012); Saarbrücken, Germany (2014); Warsaw, Poland (2016); and Graz, Austria (2018). The 2020 MESEA conference will be held in Larnaka, Cyprus.

The Association also promotes lively publishing activities. Apart from its journal, Atlantic Studies, and the official volume of essays that develop from the conferences, other volumes have been published based on MESEA activities or specific panel sessions at the biennial meetings.