Inaugural Lecture of the Harvard Law and Religion Lecture Series: Islamic Governance, Sharīʿa Interpretation, Imamic Yemen

Speaker: Professor Brinkley Messick, Professor in Anthropology and  Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies at Columbia University

Date and Time: 22 March, 5-7pm

Location: CGIS South, S020 – Belfer Case Study Room

Professor Brinkley Messick specializes in the anthropology of law, legal history, written culture, and the circulation and interpretation of Islamic law.  He is at work on a book on the doctrine and court practice of Shari`a law in the pre-revolutionary twentieth-century Islamic state of highland Yemen. He is also interested in a critical review of anthropology’s early disinclination, as a matter of disciplinary identity, to deal with written sources. He is the author of The Calligraphic State (1993), which was awarded the Albert Hourani Prize of the Middle Eastern Studies Association, and co-editor of Islamic Legal Interpretation (1996). His scholarly articles include “Indexing the Self: Expression and Intent in Islamic Legal Acts,” Islamic Law & Society (2001); “Written Identities: Legal Subjects in an Islamic State,” History of Religions (1998);  “Genealogies of Reading and the Scholarly Cultures of Islam,” in S. Humphreys,
ed. Cultures of Scholarship (1997); and “Textual Properties: Writing and Wealth in a Yemeni Shari a Case,” Anthropology Quarterly (1995).

Sponsored by the Julis-Rabinowitz Program in Jewish and Israeli Law, Committee on the Study of Religion, The Islamic Legal Studies Program: Law and Social Change, The Center for Middle Eastern Studies.