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.”

Waiting for a Train

Courtesy of sociologist Douglas Harper, American Ethnography is privileged to present our readers with an excerpt from his book Good Company: A Tramp Life. Here’s Waiting for a Train.

Posada’s Calaveras

We’ve dug out some of our favorite prints by legendary Mexican engraver José Guadalupe Posada.

Abstract Leanings

With a distinct bouquet of gasoline fumes and burnt rubber, these Robt. Williams’ automobile related oil paintings will chase you down like ethnographic hallucinations, vibrantly artistic, generously fantastic.

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.

 

Homeless Drug Addicts on the Streets of San Francisco

Philippe Bourgois and Jeff Schonberg spent over a decade doing fieldwork with two dozen homeless heroin and crack addicts on the streets of San Francisco, and produced an extraordinary wellcrafted documentation of this dystopian side of American society.

Their book, Righteous Dopefiend, is an ethnographic tour de force, and we’re stoked to bring you an excerpt.

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.

 

Codex Nuttall is such an amazing piece of art. And an amazing piece of literature. And a super-awesome piece of cultural history. One guy’s name is 12 Earthquake Bloody Tiger for God’s sake – that’s the coolest name ever!

So we went looking – deep down into dusty archives – to see what we could find on this jewel. In a 1902 issue of American Anthropologist we found a review of Peabody Museum’s reproduction of the Codex Nuttall: Facsimile of an Ancient Mexican Codex Belonging to Lord Zouche of Harynworth, England.

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 …”

 
 
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