Ben Chappell

Ben Chappell
  • Associate Professor

Contact Info

Office Phone:
Bailey Hall, room #213M


Trained as a musician and anthropologist, Ben Chappell works as an ethnographer and interdisciplinary scholar. His current research areas include Mexican American studies, vernacular cultural production, and neoliberalism.


Music and Peace Studies, Bethel College, Kansas, 1993
Anthropology, The University of Texas at Austin, 1998
Anthropology, The University of Texas at Austin, 2003


Prof. Chappell's teaching efforts focus on the graduate program and core requirements in the AMS major.

Selected Publications

Santillán, Richard, Gene T. Chávez, Rod Martínez, Raymond Olais, and Ben Chappell. 2018. Mexican American Baseball in Kansas City. Books. Charleston, SC: Arcadia.

Chappell, Ben. 2016. “The Borders the Cross Us: Ethnographic Sensibilities for Transnational American Studies.” Book Chapters. In Approaching Transnational America in Performance, edited by Birgit Bauridl and Pia Wiegmink. Peter Lang.

Chappell, Ben. 2016. “Lowrider Publics: Aesthetics and Contested Communities.” Book Chapters. In The Routledge Companion to Latina/o Popular Culture, edited by Frederick Aldama, 267–78. London/New York: Routledge.

Chappell, Ben. 2015. “The Nature and Meaning of Research in American Studies.” Other. American Studies Association White Papers. American Studies Association.

Chappell, Ben. 2014. “Barrio Metaxis: The Ambivalent Aesthetics of Lowrider Cars.” Book Chapters. In Vehicles: Cars, Canoes, and Other Metaphors of Moral Imagination, edited by David Lipset and Richard Handler. Oxford/New York: Berghahn.

Chappell, Ben. 2013. “Lowriders.” Reviews. Edited by Ilan Stavans. Latino Studies. New York: Oxford University Press.….

Chappell, Ben. 2012. Lowrider Space: Aesthetics and Politics of Mexican American Custom Cars. Books. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Chappell, Ben. 2009. “Ordinary Exceptions: The Violence of Threat Governmentality.” Book Chapters. In Shifting Positionalities: The Local and International Geo-Politics of Surveillance and Policing, edited by María  Amelia Viteri and Aaron Tobler, 124–36. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Chappell, Ben. 2008. “Lowrider Style: Cultural Poetics and the Politics of Scale.” Book Chapters. In Cultural Studies: An Anthology, edited by Michael Ryan, 634–45. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Selected Presentations

Chappell, B. (11/17/2019). Google’s Lowrider, the Jokers, and the Conquest of the Eastside. American Anthropological Association/Canadian Anthropology Society. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Chappell, B. (11/7/2019). Strategies for Survival and Success in the Academic Job Market. American Studies Association. Honolulu, HI

Chappell, B. (5/30/2019). Mexican American Fastpitch: Vernacular Sport, Utopian Performance, and Cultural Citizenship in Mid-América. Cultural Studies Association. New Orleans, LA

Chappell, B. (6/28/2018). Everything can be Counted, Nothing can be Known: Neoliberalism and Knowledge Production. 10th anniversary conference, Regensburg European American Forum. University of Regensburg, Germany

Chappell, B. (2/14/2018). Layered Memory and Contested Value: Popular Aesthetics in a Mexican American Barrio. Capitalism and the City series. Free University of Berlin