The Aga Khan University-Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations cordially invites you to the launch of Brinkley M. Messick's new book; Shari'a Scripts: A Historical Anthropology.
Writing and reading, considered as cultural and historical phenomena, have figured centrally in Brinkley M. Messick’s research on Islamic societies in both Arabia and North Africa. This work considers the production and circulation, inscription and subsequent interpretation of Arabic texts such as regional histories, law books, and court records. Professor Messick has sought to understand the relation of writing and authority, events such as the advent of print technology, hybrid contemporary practices of reading, and local histories of record keeping and archiving. Much of this work dovetails with his general interests in legal anthropology and legal history, and with his specific interests in Islamic law.
Brinkley M. Messick is Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University. He specialises in the anthropology of law, legal history, written culture, and the circulation and interpretation of Islamic law. Professor Messick 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); Textual Properties: Writing and Wealth in a Yemeni Shari'a Case, Anthropology Quarterly (1995).