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 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 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.

Ethnography challenges false mythology of exotic dance adult entertainment

Anthropologist, educator, writer and dance critic Judith Lynne Hanna has been an expert court witness in cases related to freedom of speech and exotic dance in the United States, and in Ethnography Challenges False Mythology she analyzes how localities try to regulate striptease clubs out of business.

The Peyote Cult

We’ve dug out for you, Morris Edward Opler’s review of Weston La Barre’s The Peyote Cult from 1939.

 

Hot Rod Kulture Culture

“A good thing about Polaroids,” artist and photographer Jack Butler says, “is that you take the picture and it’s ready right away, so you can use the photo to initiate a conversation with your subjects.”

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.

 

Engraving by José Guadalupe Posada

Mexican engraver José Guadalupe Posada was largely forgotten by the end of his life, and died in poverty. He was, however, soon to be quoted as a crucial inspiration for the muralist movement in his country, and as his work continued to grew in importance, his images became touchstones of national identity for Mexicans everywhere.

We’ve dug out some of our favorite Posada prints, and from those we offer a gallery we’ve called Posada’s Calaveras: From the A. Vanegas Arroyo broadsides.

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: Aretha Franklin Amazing Grace

Today we’re digging Amazing Grace by Aretha Franklin.

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