Brinkley Messick is Professor of Anthropology and of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies at Columbia University. He was the Chair of the Department of Anthropology from 2004-2011; was a founding co-Director of the Center for Palestine Studies (2010-15); and currently is the Director of the Middle East Institute. In 2009, he received the Outstanding Senior Scholar Award from the Middle East Section of the American Anthropological Association. He is the author of The Calligraphic State, which won the Albert Hourani Award from the Middle East Studies Association. His Sharīʿa Scripts: A Historical Anthropology is forthcoming from Columbia University Press.