News and Events

45th Annual Conference:
"War and Peace in Islam"
Saturday, October 8, 2016

2016 Conference Cosponsor:

The Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

To view 45th Annual Conference Call for Papers please scroll down to "Upcoming Conferences & Lectures" and click on link for Call for Papers 

Name Change: Welcome to our newly designed and updated website. After our name change to North American Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies (NAAIMS), we began a restructuring phase which included a rebranded logo, updated literature, and this new website. Under our former name “AMSS,” only the social sciences and Muslim scholars were highlighted. Actually, the themes of our conferences and lectures went beyond the social sciences, while our membership, conference participants, and board of directors included non-Muslims. Our new name accurately reflects the organization’s broad appeal, and identifies and amplifies the true legacy of the organization’s interdisciplinary forum.

Board of Directors: The newly elected NAAIMS Board of Directors (Sept 28, 2013) includes the following scholars: Jon Mandaville, Ph.D. (President); Katherine Bullock, Ph.D. (Vice President); Maria Volpe, Ph.D. (Treasurer); Gavin Brockett, Ph.D. (Secretary); Maria Dakake, Ph.D. (Member at Large); Shabana Mir, Ph.D. (Member at Large); and Aisha Y. Musa, Ph.D. (Member at Large). This board represents the diversity of the organization in terms of discipline, geography, and scholarly works. For more information about our board click here.

Board Member Wins Outstanding Book Award of 2014:
Muslim American Women on Campus: Undergraduate Social Life and Identity by Dr. Shabana Mir was unanimously voted outstanding book of 2014 by the National Association for Ethnic Studies.

To Read Book Description Click Here.
To Read Washington Post Review Click Here.

Publications: NAAIMS is currently exploring and planning the development of its own peer-reviewed journal. Beginning with AJISS Vol. 30: Fall 2013 - Issue No. 4, NAAIMS no longer co-published the journal. Updates on the future development of our new journal, including its launch date, will be posted on this website.

A detailed overview of the journal’s history is highlighted by former AJISS Editor, Dr. Katherine Bullock, in her editorial commemorating its 25th anniversary (see AJISS Vol. 25: Winter 2008 – Issue No. 1).

Academic Awards Program: This program which includes an Annual Research Travel Grant, Annual Best Graduate Research Paper Awards Competition, and Doctoral Scholarship Program is contingent upon funding. Application forms for each award will be available and announced on this website when funding becomes available. For more information about these three awards click here.

NAAIMS: 501.c.3 Tax-Exempt Organization: Your donations help foster our interdisciplinary forum encouraging scholarship on Islam, and the study of Muslim societies and identities and their relationship to Islamic traditions.

Donate Now  •  Click Here

Upcoming Conferences & Lectures

NAAIMS 45th Annual Conference:
Saturday, October 8, 2016

“War and Peace in Islam"

Cosponsored By:

The Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal
Islamic Studies Program 

Harvard University
Cambridge, MA
Saturday, October 8, 2016

Abstracts: March 28, 2016
Final Papers: September 1, 2016

Conference Venue:
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138

To View Call for Papers Click Here

University Lecture Series: NAAIMS is currently planning the calendar of its quarterly lectures which will be held in universities in the US and/or Canada. Details of university venues will be posted on this website.

NAAIMS 44th Annual Conference: Conference was cosponsored and hosted by Middle East Studies at Brown University (held September 19, 2015) highlighted “Sectarianism in Islam and Muslim Communities.” It was attended by professors and graduate students. It featured four panel sessions: Rhetorics of Sectarianism; Contemporary Militant Sectarianism; Sect, State and Security; and Sectarianism and the Transnational. The presentations sparked animated and spirited discussion and commentaries after each panel session during the question and answer (Q & A) periods. The Keynote Speaker, Prof. M. Nazif Shahrani (Prof. of Anthropology, Central Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN) addressed “Why Muslim Sectarian Politics of Rage in the Age of ‘Empires of Trust’ ” His address focused on possible causes of recent ever-escalating violence in the name of Islam in Muslim-majority regions against national and post-Soviet governments and their outside patrons. He argued that the root causes of current Muslim politics of rage is not fundamentally religious or sectarian, as often alleged, instead they are externally imposed and forcibly maintained inappropriate systems of extractive governments in these regions. 

Conference Report: To view 44th Annual Conference Report please check back

Mission Statement

The North American Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies (NAAIMS) is an organization whose mission is to provide a forum for the production and dissemination of academic research on Islam and the diverse lived experience of Muslims. Its conferences, lectures, award programs, research activities and publications promote reflective and analytical studies about Islam and Muslim societies through the disciplines of the social sciences and humanities. NAAIMS pursues scholarship in an academic setting to provide a deeper and greater understanding of Islam and Muslims.

Goals & Objectives

The goals and objectives include, but are not limited to:
  • Providing an interdisciplinary forum for excellence in research and publications relating to the study of Islam and Muslim societies;
  • Encouraging the study of gender issues and alternative perspectives in the Muslim experience;
  • Providing critical, reflective and rigorous scholarship;
  • Approaching the understanding of Islam as a diverse and global phenomenon;
  • Providing a platform for academic studies to encourage discussion and debate about Islam and the experience of Muslims from an interdisciplinary perspective; and
  • Encouraging the study of Muslim identities and their relationship to Islamic traditions.


The North American Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies (NAAIMS), formerly the Association of Muslim Social Scientists of North America (AMSS), is an independent non-profit 501.c.3 tax-exempt membership-based academic organization run by a board of directors elected every two years. The organization encompasses the United States and Canada, and is open to all scholars dedicated to promoting the study of Islam, the diverse lived experience of Muslims, and Muslim societies. It was established in 1972 by North American Muslim scholars as an academic forum to debate social issues relating to the study of Islam and Muslim experiences from an Islamic perspective. It developed a unique space for academics in the interdisciplinary subject areas within Islamic and Muslim studies. Through its conferences cosponsored solely by universities, it created a unique niche in academia encouraging the study of Islam and Islamic studies, which was unrivaled by other Muslim organizations. It organized and instituted university cosponsored conferences and a lecture series in the United States and Canada, and an academic awards program beginning with the Best Graduate Paper Awards Competition in 2001. The following is a list of annual themes presented at its annual conferences since 2000:

2016: "War and Peace in Islam" Cosponsored By:
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

 2015: "Sectarianism in Islam and Muslim Communities" Cosponsored BY: Brown University, Providence, RI

 2014: "The Concept of Authority in Muslim Societies: Political, Religious, Social and Literary" Cosponsored By: Columbia University, New York, NY

2013: “Constitutions and Islam” Cosponsored By: Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

2012: “Religious Dimensions of Democratization Processes in Muslim-Majority Nations”
Cosponsored By: Yale Divinity School, & The MacMillan Center
Yale University, New Haven, CT

2011: “Looking Beyond 9/11: Islam in the West &Democratic Trends in the Middle East & North Africa”
Cosponsored By: John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, & Binghamton University, NY

2010:“Cosmopolitan Islam: Globalization Transnationalism and Muslim Diasporas”
Cosponsored By: DePaul University, Chicago, Il

2009:“Islamic Traditions and Comparative Modernities”
Cosponsored By: University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

2008: “Crossing Boundaries: Mobilizing Faith, Diversity and Dialogue”
Hosted By: Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, MA

2007: “Perils of Empire: Islamophobia, Religious Extremism and the New Imperialism”
Cosponsored By: University of Maryland, College Park, MD

2006: “Muslim Identities: Shifting Boundaries and Dialogues”
Cosponsored By: Hartford Seminary, Hartford, CT

2005: “Muslims and Islam in the Chaotic Modern World: Relations of Muslims among Themselves and with Others”
Cosponsored By: Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

2004: “Revisioning Modernity: Challenges and Possibilities”
Cosponsored By: George Mason University – Arlington Campus, VA

2003: “East Meets West: Understanding the Muslim Presence in Europe and North America”
Cosponsored By: Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

2002: “The Muslim World after September 11: Agenda for Change”
Cosponsored By: American University, Washington, DC

2001: “Religion and Society in the Global Epoch”
Cosponsored by University of Michigan – Dearborn Campus, MI

2000: “Islam and Society in the 21st Century”
Cosponsored by Georgetown University, Washington, DC
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