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Department of Social Anthropology


Dr Timothy Cooper has been awarded the 2021-2022 Claremont Prize for the Study of Religion for his manuscript Public Demand: Film, Islam, and Atmosphere in a Pakistani Marketplace. The Claremont Prize is awarded by the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life at Columbia University to support and promote cutting-edge scholarship by early career researchers. Prize-winners’ books will appear in IRCPL’s series, “Religion, Culture, and Public Life,” published by Columbia University Press.

His book, Public Demand: Film, Islam, and Atmosphere in a Pakistani Marketplace centres on Lahore’s Hall Road, the largest electronics market in Pakistan. Once the centre of film and media piracy in South Asia, it now specializes in smartphones and mobile accessories. Yet the economic promises and moral dangers of film continue to loom large.

The book examines the environmental media and mediations that give sense to these felt forces through examples that emerge from Hall Road’s economic, moral, and urban form. These include the preservation and censorship of film in and outside of the state bureaucracy, contestations surrounding heritage and urban infrastructure, and the production and circulation of sound and video recordings among the country’s Shiʿi Islamic minority.  Situated ethnographically among traders, consumers, collectors, archivists, cinephiles, and cinephobes, Public Demand argues that the atmospheric conditions of media in Pakistan provide ways of conceiving of moral thresholds that are mutable and affective, rather than fixed ethical standpoints. 


For further information about Tim's project please follow this link: