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.


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.”

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.

“It’s Different From Anywhere Else”

In G-Strings and Sympathy anthropologist Katherine Frank writes about the “regulars” in the clubs she worked in as a stripper. We have a chapter from her book for you: Searching for Escape.

Waltz and Swing: The Downfall of American Society

Patsy Holden writes about the history of the Waltz and Swing, both once considered “a nuisance and the downfall of American society.”

Burlesque Poster Design

From the Folies Bergère to the retro-inspired scene of today, the finest, raunchiest, most teasing poster art from the world of burlesque.


Southern California Lowriders

In 2005, while he was doing fieldwork among lowriders in the southwestern states of USA, American Ethnography’s owner and editor Martin Hoyem photographed the people he met and their cars. We have made a selection of these photos in a gallery we call Southern California Lowriders: Los Angeles 2005.

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: Penny De Los Santos

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’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: Sun Ra and his Myth Science Arkestra Angels and Demons at Play

Today we’re digging Angels and Demons at Play by Sun Ra and his Myth Science Arkestra.


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