Photo of Linder, Benjamin

Benjamin Linder

Graduate Student



Building & Room:

BSB 2102


1007 W. Harrison

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Benjamin Linder CV


I am a social anthropologist and cultural geographer whose research explores the intersection of transnationalism, cultural transformation, and urban space. My dissertation focuses on the neighborhood of Thamel in Kathmandu, Nepal. This project pays particular attention to the varied experiences, imaginaries, transformations, and contestations that the neighborhood reflects, signifies, and reproduces in the contemporary socio-urban landscape. The second phase of this project utilized multi-sited ethnography to trace Thamel's linkages with multiple other sites in the Nepali diaspora, including Hong Kong, Toronto, London, and more. In the course of completing this dissertation, I have become especially interested in theories of space/place, cosmopolitanism, transnationalism, mobilities, and geocriticism.


Selected Grants

University of Illinois at Chicago, Graduate Geography Grant (2018), Principal Investigator

Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC), Multi-Country Research Fellowship (2016), Principal Investigator

Cornell University, Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship (Declined) for Summer Intensive Nepali, Fellow

University of Illinois at Chicago, Chancellor's Graduate Research Award (2015), Principal Investigator

Fulbright, Student Research Grant (2015), Principal Investigator

Cornell University, "Intensive Nepali" Tuition Award (2014), Principal Investigator

Selected Publications

Linder, Benjamin. 2018. Thamel Through Time: Commemorating 50 Years of Kathmandu Guest House and Thamel. Kathmandu: Kathmandu Guest House.

Linder, Benjamin. 2017. “Of ‘Tourist’ Places: The Cultural Politics of Narrating Space in Thamel.” HIMALAYA, the Journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies 37(1): 41-56.

Linder, Benjamin. 2017. “Linked (Im)mobilities and the Relational Politics of Movement in Post-Earthquake Nepal.” Journal of Cultural Geography 34(2): 222-249.

Grossman-Thompson, Barbara and Benjamin Linder. 2015. “Landscaping Otherness: The Charm of Inequity in Nepali Tourism.” Verge: Studies in Global Asias 1(1): 184-211.

Grossman-Thompson, Barbara and Benjamin Linder. 2014. “‘A Few Days Here is Plenty’: The Value and Implications of Popular Sources for Tourism Development in Nepal.” International Journal of Leisure and Tourism Marketing 4(2): 117-134.

Notable Honors

2016, "Image of Research" Competition, 3rd Place, University of Illinois at Chicago

2014, "Image of Research" Competition, Honorable Mention, University of Illinois at Chicago

2013, Joshua Terry Award, Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Chicago

2010, Phi Beta Kappa, Indiana University


2018 M.A., Environmental and Urban Geography, University of Illinois at Chicago
2013 M.A., Anthropology, University of Illinois at Chicago
2010 B.A., Anthropology and Religious Studies (Minor: History), Indiana University, Highest Distinction

Selected Presentations

2018   “‘This Looks Like Chinatown!’: Contested Geographies and the Transformation of Social Space in Jyatha, Kathmandu.” Paper presented at the Second City Anthropology Conference in Chicago, IL on March 10.

2017   “A Global Sense of Thamel: The Production of Cosmopolitanism between London, Hong Kong, and Kathmandu.” Paper presented at the 5th Himalayan Studies Conference in Boulder, CO on September 3.

2017   “Transnational Mobilities and Cosmopolitan Place-Making in Kathmandu, Nepal.” Paper presented at the 47th Annual Conference of the Urban Affairs Association in Minneapolis, MN on April 20.

2017   “Placing Thamel and Writing the City” Public lecture invited by the Literary Association of Nepal in Kathmandu, Nepal on April 9.

2017   “Transnational Mobilities and Cosmopolitan Transformations in Thamel.” Public lecture invited by Martin Chautari’s Discussion Series in Kathmandu, Nepal on April 2.

2016   “Historical Ethnography: Notes from Thamel.” Guest lecture invited by the Department of Anthropology at Tribhuvan University in Kirtipur, Nepal on March 30.

2016   “Thamel as Borderland: The Spatial Production of Cosmopolitanism in Thamel.” Paper presented at the 5th Conference of the Asian Borderlands Research Network in Kathmandu, Nepal on December 13.

2014   “Thamel as Hyperspace.” Paper presented at the 43rd Annual Conference on South Asia in Madison, WI on October 19.