The North American Network in Aging Studies (NANAS) was established in January, 2013 by a small group of humanities and social science scholars who were interested in critical examinations of older age that moved away from the experimental sciences and instead spoke to fundamental questions of human existence.
NANAS was inspired by the creation of the European Network in Aging Studies (ENAS), whose mission is to “facilitate sustainable, international and multi-disciplinary collaboration among all researchers interested in the study of cultural aging.” Plans to form NANAS began at the inaugural ENAS conference, held in Maastricht, The Netherlands, in October 2011. In July 2013, NANAS held a planning retreat at Hiram College in Ohio, which was attended by scholars from the United States, Canada, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Austria. NANAS hosted its first research conference in May 2015 at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and its first joint conference with ENAS in April 2017 at the University of Graz, Austria.
NANAS’s ongoing mission is to facilitate sustainable interdisciplinary collaborations and methodologies that bridge the medical and social sciences and the humanities, supporting research that increases understandings of the cultural meanings of the aging processes across the lifespan in order to challenge stereotypes and provide creative approaches that improve the health, care, and quality of life for people aging into old age.