Sharia Genres and their Writers in Imamic Yemen

Sharia Genres and their Writers in Imamic Yemen

Please join us for a talk by Dr. Brinkley Messick

The historical instance in question is the twentieth century decades of an imam-led polity in the non-colonized, late agrarian age society of highland Yemen. With the support of ethnographic photography, I survey the relations between the main roles in sharīʿa governance and the main types of sharīʿa writings in the textual formation of the period. The perspectives are those of historical anthropology and Islamic Studies.

Brinkley Messick, PhD, (Professor of Anthropology and of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University) specializes in the anthropology of law, legal history, written culture, and the circulation and interpretation of Islamic law. He is the author of The Calligraphic State (1993), which was awarded the Albert Hourani Prize of the Middle Eastern Studies Association, and Sharīʿa Scripts: A Historical Anthropology (2018). He is also co-editor of Islamic Legal Interpretation (1996). 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. 

This event is sponsored by the Department of Jewish, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies & the Department of History.

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