News and Events

NAAIMS 49th Annual Conference

Saturday, December 19, 2020


“The Future of Islamic Studies”



Cosponsored By:


Department of Religious Studies

University of Oregon, Eugene, OR


A Virtual Conference on the Zoom platform

Registration Required – contact


All Sessions held in Eastern Standard Time (UTC-05:00)

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 (December 4, 2019) includes the following scholars: Frederick S. Colby, Ph.D. (President); Sarra Tlili, Ph.D. (Vice President); Aisha Y. Musa, Ph.D. (Secretary); Waleed A. El-Ansary, Ph.D. (Treasurer); Aila A. Ghori, M.S. (Assistant Treasurer); Mohammad Hassan Khalil, Ph.D. (Member at Larger); Kenneth Garden, Ph.D. (Member at Large); Zahra Ayubi, Ph.D. (Member at Large).

This board represents the diversity of the organization through the disciplines of the social sciences and humanities. For more information about our board
click here.

 Journals: NAAIMS is honored to announce the launch of its long-awaited publication, the Journal of Islamic and Muslims Studies (JIMS). This double-blind peer-reviewed bi-annual journal is published by the Indiana University Press (IUP). Each bi-annual issue will include the following five sections to help disseminate knowledge from interdisciplinary perspectives regarding Islam and the Muslim world: Scholarly Research Papers; Book Reviews; Film Reviews; Discussion and Debate Forum which serves as a blog; and Conference Reports. The inaugural issue highlights “Sectarianism in Islam and Muslim Communities.” For more details Click Here

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.

Donations: NAAIMS is a 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 50th Annual Conference

To Be Announced (Spring/Summer 2021)

“Diverse Approaches to Qur’anic Studies

in the Western Academy”

Cosponsored By:

Department of Religion

George Washington University, Washington, DC


Department of Theology

Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH

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 48th Annual Conference:
This event was cosponsored by Boston University's Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs (CURA) of the Pardee School of Global Studies. The theme focused on "Muslim Communities in Europe and North America: Contemporary Developments and Challenges." It featured four panel sessions: Law, Religion, and Immigration; Religiosity of Western Muslims; Western Muslims in Culture and Higher Education, and Self-Positioning of Western Muslims. The Luncheon Keynote Address was given by Jonathan Laurence (Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA) "After Political Violence: The State Regulation of Immigrant Religion in Transatlantic Perspective."

Conference Report:
To view the 48th Annual Conference Report Click Here

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:

2020: “The Future of Islamic Studies” Virtual Conference Cosponsored by University of Oregon, Eugene, OR

2019: "Muslim Communities in Europe and North America: Contemporary Developments and Challenges" Cosponsored By: Boston University, Boston, MA

2018: "Impact of Emerging Digital Technology and Social Media on Muslim Communities" Cosponsored By: City University of New York (CUNY), New York, NY
2017: "Muslims and the City" Cosponsored By:
 Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA

 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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