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.”

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.”

Street Food

Penny De Los Santos says she explores and celebrates culture, history and community through the lens of food. Here’s a gallery of De Los Santos’ work.

The Perfect Whatever Drug

Anthropologist Michael Agar tries to describe what he calls, in an email to American Ethnography, “that first seductive dance with the drug, the song of the opiate siren, the early high times before biology takes over biography.” We have an excerpt from his book Dope Double Agent: The Naked Emperor on Drugs.

Good dreams?

“He was leaning back on his elbows and crying, with his mouth in a funny position.”

Another one of Morris Edward Opler’s accounts, this one from 1938: The use of Peyote by the Carrizo and Lipan Apache tribes.

 

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.

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:Juliana Beasley

“It is the anonymous nature of the lapdance that allows for such closeness between strangers. The lapdance becomes a metaphor for this human contradiction: the deep desire for intimacy, yet the simultaneous fear of it.”

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.

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:  This May Be My Last Time Singing: Raw African-American Gospel on 45RPM, 1957-1982

Today we’re digging This May Be My Last Time Singing: Raw African-American Gospel on 45RPM, 1957-1982

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