Current Institutional Affiliation
Professor, Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 1999
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, Columbia University
Constructing Citizens: Urban Mosques in Pakistan (1947-present)

Since its inception in 1947, Pakistan has experienced a continuous struggle over defining a Muslim identity for itself and its citizens. However, the state has not always permitted a public forum for this debate. I propose that mosques have become the unspoken, yet pivotal site for contestation over the ideal expression of Muslim citizenship. More specifically, mosque construction has become a newly important and, at times, contentious political practice by which to forward disparate claims on Muslim citizenship. My dissertation project will trace this new importance of mosque construction by looking at 1) the roles, both intended and unintended, state planning has played in promoting urban mosques; and, 2) the contested nature of building practices and mosque architecture which makes construction a political practice. To carry out this research, I will bring into dialogue a historical analysis of mosque construction within state and public discourses with an ethnography of mosques in a neighborhood in Lahore, Pakistan.