Planning is underway for the formal establishment of the British Association for Islamic Studies (BRAIS), as a follow-up to all the work undertaken by the Islamic Studies Network over the past three years. The association will be a learned society and professional organisation focused on enhancing research and teaching about Islam and Muslim cultures and societies in UK higher education. It will provide a forum for academic exchange for scholars with an interest in any aspect of Islam and the Muslim world (including non-Muslim majority societies), and will act as an umbrella organisation for members working in a wide range of disciplines and geographical interest areas.
The association is currently overseen by an interim steering group. At a meeting of the steering group on 8 October 2012 it was decided that for the first five years the association’s administrative base will be at the Alwaleed Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World at the University of Edinburgh. Steering group members also confirmed the following as interim officers for the British Association for Islamic Studies:
- Co-Chairs: Shuruq Naguib, University of Lancaster and Ayman Shihadeh, SOAS
- Secretary: Hugh Goddard, University of Edinburgh
- Treasurer/Membership Secretary: Edward Phillips, University of Greenwich
- Web Officer: Chris Allen, University of Birmingham
Plans are underway for the inaugural conference of the Society in Edinburgh on Thursday 5th and Friday 6th September 2013. For further information please visit www.brais.ac.uk or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the members of the steering group for the Society expressed their very warm thanks to Dr Lisa Bernasek, together with her colleagues John Canning and Sara Bath, for all their hard work in developing the Islamic Studies Network over the past three years, and the interim officers look forward to developing BRAIS as a long-term legacy of the Network.