Mark Liechty



PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 1994


South Asia, Nepal

Topics of Interest

Cultural anthropology, anthropology of consumption, middle-class culture, mass media, culture theory, globalization, youth culture, cultural history, tourism, development studies

Research Statement

Mark Liechty is a South Asianist by training with a research specialization in the modern culture and history of Nepal. His professional appointment at UIC is split between the Anthropology and History departments. Liechty’s first three books deal with aspects of the emergence of a middle-class consumer culture in Kathmandu. His teaching at UIC focuses on world history, South Asian colonial history, culture theory, youth culture, and cultures of the body. Liechty’s research has been supported by various organizations including several Fulbright research awards and a recent Fulbright “Senior Specialist” grant for Nepal. He recently published a major book on Western countercultural longing and the history of tourism entitled Far Out: Countercultural Seekers and the Tourism Encounter in Nepal (Chicago, 2017) which received the 2017 Kekoo Naoroji Book Award for Himalayan Literature. Liechty is currently working on a research/book project on the cultural history of hydropower generation in Nepal that examines how different approaches to “development” have yielded dramatically different results in terms of “capacity building” and local economic impact. He is also International Co-Investigator on a three-year interdisciplinary study of the 2015 Nepal earthquakes funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (UK) and based at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Univ. of London where Liechty will be in residence for six months in 2019. 

His research and teaching interests also include culture theory, globalization, cultural history, youth culture and medical anthropology.

Professor Liechty holds a 50% joint appointment with UIC's Department of History where he teaches courses on cultural history, world history and South Asian history. He is co-editor of the journal Studies in Nepali History and Society.

Selected Publications

Far Out: Countercultural Seekers and the Tourist Encounter in Nepal. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (Winner of the 2017 Kekoo Naoroji Book Award for Himalayan Literature.)

The Global Middle Classes: Theorizing Through Ethnography. Santa Fe: SAR Press. Edited, with Rachel Heiman and Carla Freeman. 


Out Here in Kathmandu: Modernity on the Global Periphery. Kathmandu: Martin Chautari Press.


Building the Road to Kathmandu: Notes on the History of Tourism in Nepal. Himalaya 25 (1-2): 19-28.


Carnal Economies: The Commodification of Food and Sex in Kathmandu. Cultural Anthropology 20(1):1-38.


Suitably Modern: Making Middle-Class Culture in a New Consumer Society. Princeton: Princeton University Press

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Contact Information

Office Phone (312) 413-3581