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Ben Terry Chappell

Associate Professor
Primary office:
213P Bailey Hall


Ben Chappell is an ethnographer and associate professor of American Studies. Originally from Ohio, he studied at Bethel College in Kansas and the University of Texas at Austin. He developed an interest in Latina/o cultures after taking travel courses in Mexico and Central America as an undergrad, and focusing on Mexican American studies in graduate school through the Américo Paredes Center for Cultural Studies at UT, where he earned a doctorate in anthropology. His research focuses on popular institutions and aesthetics in everyday life. His first book was an ethnography of lowrider car customizers and the policing of urban space. He is currently working on a book about Mexican American fastpitch softball tournaments, which are local traditions going back at least to World War II in a region running roughly from Kansas City to Houston. For much of his life he was a musician, and has performed with baroque, choral, jazz, punk rock, honky-tonk, and mariachi ensembles. His hobbies include playing in the Lawrence Adult Soccer League and making espresso on a finicky manual machine, which on a good day can make the best cup in town.


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