Baraza Ijtihad is a connected, multimedia space committed to the study of the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa from a comparative perspective that challenges the theory and practice of Area Studies. Persian in origin, Baraza comes from Swahili, a language that embodies the intersection of cultures and ideas from all three regions, and means both a public meeting and the space where meetings are held. Coming from Arabic and meaning the struggle of independent reason over convention, ijtihad captures the spirit of critical self-reflection and evokes an intellectual tradition of trans-regional significance. Importantly, Baraza Ijtihad will not content itself with neither disciplinary nor geographic borders nor will it limit itself to well established genres of academic and popular discourse. From the market of ideas and exchange that Baraza offers, the itinerant intellectual can expect to leave with new units of analysis, new methodologies, and new forms of presentation responsive to contemporary social realities and their technological imperatives.