As a sociologist of international migration and race/ethnicity at University of Pennsylvania, Shams studies how migration and global inequalities affect immigrants, particularly those from Muslim-majority countries in the West. Her book, Here, There, and Elsewhere: The Making of Immigrant Identities in a Globalized World, has won the American Sociological Association's Thomas and Znaniecki Book Award from the International Migration Section, the Distinguished Book Award from the Sociology of Religion Section, and the Asian America Book Award from the Asia and Asian America Section. It has also won the Distinguished Scholarship Award from the Pacific Sociological Association. Other recognitions include the Early Career Investigator Award from the Canadian Sociological Association. Her work has been taught in over two dozen courses and she has given invited talks in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. My new project on interfaith and interracial relationships of South Asian Muslim immigrants shows how geopolitics penetrates even the most intimate aspects of people's lives: how they think of themselves, who they date and who they marry, and how they aspire their children's futures to be. Shams earned her PhD from UCLA in 2018.
Shams will be joining ASAM and the Department of Sociology as an Assistant Professor in Spring 2023.