Lowrider car parked in garage. Water damage on the garage walls behind the car. Black and white poster showin Jim Morrison on garage wall, hung sideways. Some spraypainted black tag on the wall. Finger of photographer slightly covering camera lens.

Lowrider

Los Angeles, 2005. (The photo is not from the book referred to in the text to the right.)

Photo: Martin Høyem

 

Lowrider Space

We take a special interest in scientific works on outlaw aesthetics here at American Ethnography Quasimonthly. And we also love us some writing on car customization. Thus, when we heard about Ben Chappell’s Lowrider Space, a new publication from the University of Texas Press, we perked up: any academic hep cat who takes a look at lowriders is cool, calm, and a solid wig as far as we’re concerned.

Lowrider Space draws on Chappell’s participant observation fieldwork among car clubs in Austin, Texas. He describes how the lowrider culture creates a social space for its participants, and he points to the value of this space for a group of people who – because of their social status in the society they live in – are often denied access to other spaces.

It’s a cool piece of research, and we’re stoked to share with you an excerpt from the book. Here’s “Regulating Lowrider Space.”

Ruth Benedict 1887-1948

We at American Ethnography think that the obituary pages of the newspaper are curiously delightful – when we read them we don’t read about death, we read about life, and therefore they leave us with high spirits.

With that in mind, here’s Ruth Benedict’s obituary, penned by Margaret Mead in 1949.

The Vietnam Zippo Lighter

Courtesy of the publishers we give you an excerpt from Vietnam Zippos: American Soldiers’ Engravings and Stories 1965 – 1973: artist and Zippo collector Bradford Edwards’ essay on how his collection came to be.

The Haitian Vodou tradition

Portraits from a country where “90% of the population is Catholic and 100% of the population is Vodou,” Phyllis Galembo’s book Vodou: Visions and Voices of Haiti reveal what she herself calls “the hidden vitality of the Haitian Vodou tradition.”

Graduate School

From a depraved and desperate Montreal underworld, here’s a pitiless and darkly comic exposé of a dope hungry intellectual who educates himself in the art of hustling access to the contents of pharmacy cabinets.

 

Street Food

Anthropologist Johan Pottier once wrote that food is “the most powerful instrument for expressing and shaping interactions between humans. Recently we came across the work of Penny De Los Santos, who says she explores and celebrates culture, history and community through the lens of food. Here’s a gallery of De Los Santos’ work.

What else?

Have you got some good stuff you think American Eth­no­gra­phy Quasi­monthly should cover? Please send us an email and tell us about it!

Proposal to perfume within your region

“It is my wish to book with you for a group of 10 students coming from Germany, as they are preparing for their contracted proposal to perfume within your region.”

More on our feedback page.

 

Photo: Lourdes Grobet

We love lucha libre cinema. We love it when Santo and Blue Demon team up to fight Dracula’s daughter or invaders from Mars. And we love it when the two luchadores, dressed in their funky 1970’s suits, sit down with their girlfriends to eat cake and drink coffee in a fancy restaurant, and they’re still wearing their masks. It’s magnetic!

So, not surprisingly, we also love the photos of Lourdes Grobet, lucha libre documentarian extraordinaire. We got our hands on a copy of her book Espectacular de Lucha Libre. You can read our review here.

What’s all this, then?
Black and white pen drawing of car interior with chain steering wheel.

American Ethnography is a stranger in a 1972 Riviera, sunburst yellow banged up and dirty, raving coffee madness cruising Main Street of the quiet desert town at 15 miles an hour …”

 
Record sleeve art: Jack Nitzsche The Lonely Surfer

Today we’re digging The Lonely Surfer by Jack Nitzsche.

amazon | iTunes


 
  • American Ethnography Quasimonthly is published by the Intercontinental Institute for Awesome Anthropology and Ethnographic Excellence
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