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Department of Social Anthropology


Timothy Cooper earned his PhD at the Department of Anthropology, University College London, based upon ethnographic research both among traders on a vast and diverse electronics marketplace and among producers of religious media in the Pakistani city of Lahore. His postdoctoral research at the Department of Social Anthropology at Cambridge builds on this work to explore how individuals and collectives understand the difficult relationship between technology, piety, and public affect. As part of his present position, he is conducting research into the circulation of devotional recordings among the minority Shi’a Muslim community in Pakistani Punjab in order to understand the ways in which atmospheric states of ethical attunement relate to changing interfaces for communal worship. To date, he has documented this research in an emerging body of published work, as well as through the production of four ethnographic films and a long-running monthly radio series, public impact events, and curatorial projects.


Journal articles


  • Cooper, TPA., 2020. TheKaččāand thePakkā: Disenchanting the Film Event in Pakistan, Cambridge University Press (CUP) Comparative Studies in Society and History, v. 62
  • Cooper, T., 3D Ziyarat : Lenticularity and technologies of the moving image in material and visual piety, Routledge Material Religion: the journal of objects, art and belief,
  • Cooper, T., ““Live has an atmosphere of its own”: Azadari, ethical orientation, and tuned presence in Shi’a media praxis”, Wiley Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute,
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