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.”

Photo gallery: Lapdancer

Photographer Juliana Beasley worked eight years as a professional nude dancer, using her camera to document the clubs she worked in, her co-workers, and the customers. Here are some of her photos.

From Ball-Room to Hell

In 1892 Thomas Faulkner wrote, in From the Ball-Room to Hell, about “the degrading lust-creating influence of the waltz.” From his book we give you First and Last Step.

Stripping, social class, and the strange carnalities of research

Sociologist Danielle Egan worked as a striptease dancer and wrote about it in her book Dancing for Dollars and Paying for Love. Here is an excerpt from the book.

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.

 

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.

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: Martin Hoyem. Photo in book: Robert Frank.

Photographer Robert Frank’s The Americans was first published in Paris in 1958, and was recently re-published by Steidl and the National Gallery of Art.

Frank “sucked a sad poem right out of America onto film,” wrote Jack Kerouac in the introduction to the first American edition in 1959. He continued: “To Robert Frank I now give this message: You got eyes.”

American Ethnography got our hands on a copy of the Steidl re-issue, and we give you This, Upon Reading The Americans.

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: The Staples Singers Swing Low Sweet Chariot

Today we’re digging Swing Low Sweet Chariot by The Staples Singers.

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