Founded In 1984 as a private, nonprofit association to foster research and promote scholarly cooperation between the United States and countries in North Africa known collectively as the Maghreb (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia), the American Institute for Maghreb Studies (AIMS) is supported financially by individual and institutional memberships, as well as by public and private grants. AIMS meets annually in conjunction with the Middle East Studies Association.
AIMS operates an overseas center, the Center for Maghrebi Studies in Tunis (Centre d'Études Maghrébines à Tunis, or CEMAT). CEMAT was established In 1985 under an agreement between AIMS and the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. The ministry provides CEMAT's premises and administrative support, while AIMS contributes an American resident director. CEMAT assists visiting researchers in making contact with local scholars, gaining access to research resources, and securing permissions for fieldwork. It also sponsors lectures and seminars by local and foreign scholars and museum and archaeological site tours. CEMAT maintains a reference library of works in English on the Maghreb, especially American and British dissertations not otherwise readily available in the region. It also possesses a large collection of World War II–vintage topographic maps of the Maghreb.
AIMS sponsors an annual regional conference on a specific topic held on a rotating basis in one of the Maghreb countries. In developing its programs and planning its annual conference, AIMS and CEMAT work closely with an advisory commission composed of Tunisian, Moroccan, Algerian, and American members. AIMS offers grants for travel and research in the Maghreb, mainly for topics in the humanities and social sciences. AIMS also publishes proceedings of its annual conferences and occasional papers. AIMS is a member of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) and is associated with the Tangier American Legation Museum in Morocco.
Joseph A. Greene