Call Archive



Marco Maggioli, Università Iulm, Milano,
Luc Gwiazdzinski, Université Grenoble Alpes,
Will Straw, McGill University, Montreal,

Schedule and guidelines

The authors are requested to send the title and the abstract (maximum of 1000 characters, bibliography and spaces included) within 8th of July 2018.

An answer will be given within 20th of July 2018. The selected authors will have to submit their complete text no later then 15th of October. The contributions in Italian, French or English must not exceed 40.000 characters (spaces and bibliography included).

As the basis of the original alternation, the night has long remained a forgotten dimension, a terra incognita, a finis terrae, a space-time scarcely invested by human activities, a frontier to explore, a forgotten realm given over to fear and fantasy. It has inspired poets in search of liberty, served as a refuge for evil-doers, and troubled the powerful, who have often sought ways of controlling it. As a period of darkness marked symbolically by the curfew, the ceasing of all activity and the closing of the doors of the city, the night was long considered a time for social repose and a retreat into the private sphere. City councillors, planners and managers have often approached cities and regions as if they functioned only for sixteen hours out of twenty-four. Rare are the scholars who have found the subject worthy of interest and rarer still are those who have approached it as a“geographical object”.

However, times have changed. New pressures are being brought to bear on the night, crystallizing a set of fundamental economic, political, environmental and social issues. Society is being redefined at the very depth of the nycthemeral. More and more human activities are moving into the night, producing a new space of work and leisure. Casting off natural constraints, our cities are animated by life styles which are increasingly desynchronized by the reduction of working time and by new technologies of lighting or communication. The last thirty years have seen the ongoing colonization of the night by human activity. As a consequence of this expansion beyond the limits of the day, the night has imposed itself upon the reality of the day, for better (festivals, special events) and worse (urban violence, conflict, insecurity.)

Colonized by lighting and by the activities of the day, traversed by its “users” on the basis of ever more staggered rhythms, the urban night has become a key field of tension. The ceaseless flow of the economy and of networked life runs counter to the circadian rhythms of our bodies and our cities. Global time collides with local time. Conflicts multiply between individuals, groups and neighbourhoods, between the city that sleeps, the city that works, and the city that entertains itself. These tensions, along with changes in life style and a demand for nocturnal services have forced public authorities to react, to develop other approaches to regulation and mediation. Marginal for so long, the night has slowly become a central focus of economic actors and public officials, of fields such as tourism, urbanism and planning. It is now a territory in which both the cities and the society of tomorrow are reinventing themselves. Situated in the space between planning and care, exploitation and protection, artificialization and naturalization, freedom and instrumentalization, tension et innovation, the night has much to say to the day.

Following pioneering work at the end of the 1990s, a new scholarly field, that of “night studies”has emerged and assumed form, bringing together historians, geographers, urbanists, sociologists, eonomists, anthropologists, ethnologists, philosophers, biologists, specialists in culture and communication, political scientists, architects, artists and practitioners of several kinds. Throughout the world, conferences, seminars, research projects, thesis and exhibitions dealing with the night have multiplied, often exploring, in an interdisciplinary fashion, the limits of the urban light and such issues as the colonization of night, insecurity, governance, public policy and planning, quality of life issues, co-habitation, lighting plans, landscape, mobility, questions of representation, cartography, innovation, marketing and so on.

Space and territory are at the heart of these reflections. Geographers and the discipline of geography do not sit apart from this work on the night nor, more broadly, from ongoing reflection on the question of temporalities or chronotopic approaches. On the contrary, they haveparticiapated from the very beginning in this exploration of the “other side of the day.” Their work, and that of other disciplines, have largely been centred on Europe (Great Britain, France and Germany, principally) with a few incursons from the Mediterranean region, North America, South America, Asia and Africa. All of this work has been concerned principally with cities and large metropolitan areas, despite certain recent openings onto mid-sized cities.

The desired outcome of this call for articles is an exploration of the night at different scales and in different contexts. The issue looks to take stock of ongoing reflections on the night in geography and neighbouring disciplines, to encourage the dissemination of approaches to the night which are new in terms of scale and thematic, and to contribute to the development of research in Italy, Europe and the world. It seeks to expand night-time studies at the geographical, thematic and methodological levels. Contributions might take up a range of critical, methdological and prospective dimensions of the night, and engage with a non-exclusive range of questions.Between freedom and insecurity, “diurnisaation” and resistance, what remains of our nights? What changes are bringing about the transformation of spaces? What forms of spatial organization are emerging, and on what scale? In the study of night, what rhythms, practices, populations, genders and activities may we observe? Where are the lines between private and public space? What interactions and what modalities of interaction? What kinds of sociability? What kinds of mobility? What innovations? What conflicts? What forms of governance? What are the nights of the North? Of the South? What might we say of the urban night and the rural night? What kinds of representation? What kinds of events? What festivities and what forms of mobilization? What modes of living? What futures?

Articles may deal with the night in any of its historical, political, economic, social, environmental and cultural dimensions, at a variety of scales and in any contexts. Possible points of departure might include public space, economics, governance, planning, urbanism, mobilization, conflict and protest, new services, work, leisure, security, diversity, tourism, culture, lighting, atmospheres, design, gender, sexuality, critique... and this list is non-exclusive. Finally, this call is not limited only to geographers; all proposals will be given serious consideration on the condition that they contain a geographical dimension.

What does the night have to offer geography, and what might geographers bring to a reflection on the night? Can we -- and should we -- transform the night into maps and equations? How

might we cast light on the night without killing it? These are some of the questions to which this publication will attempt to respond.

Before submitting the paper, please check the Guidelines for Authors.


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Bureau L. (1997), Géographie de la nuit, Montreal, Hexagone.
Cabantous A. (2009). Histoire de la nuit: XVIIe-XVIIIe siècle, Paris, Fayard.

Casati R. (2000), La scoperta dell’ombra, Arnaldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A.
Castellini A. (2003), Piacevole è la notte. Milan, Manifestolibri.
Chatterton P., Robert H., (2003), Urban Nightscapes: Youth Cultures, Pleasure Spaces and Corporate Power, New York, Routledge.
Chazkel A. (2017) « The Invention of Night: Visibility and Violence after Dark in Rio deJaneiro.” In Gema Santamaria and David Carey, eds. Violence and Crime in Latin America: Representations and Politics. University of Oklahoma Press, pp. 143-156.
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Jordi N. et al. (2016), “Club Carib: A geo-ethnography of seduction in a Lisbon dancing bar”, 18, 8, Social & Cultural Geography pp. 1175-1195.
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Giordano E., Gwiazdzinski L., (2018), “La notte urbana, una nuova frontiera per la ricerca geografica in Italia”, RGI.
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Gwiazdzinski L. (2004), “La città della notte”, Urbanistica, 125, Milano, pp.73-76
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Mareggi M. (2003), Trois villes italiennes: différenciation temporelle des lieux, in Gwiazdzinski L. La ville 24h/24. Regards croisés sur la société en continu, Editions de l'Aube, pp.169-174.Mercado A. (2017), “ Patrones espaciales del consumo nocturno: el caso la música popular alternativa en la Ciudad de México. » En José Gasca Zamora y Patricia E. Olivera Martínez. Espacios del consumo y el comercio en la ciudad contemporánea, México: IIE-UNAM Narboni R. (2012), Les éclairages des villes, Gollion, Paris, Infolio.
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Straw, W. (2015), “The Urban Night”, in Darroch M. and Marchessault J. (eds.), Cartographies of Place: Navigating the Urban, Montreal, Quebec, McGill Queens University Press, pp.185- 200.
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Zhang J.-H., Wang M.H. (2013), «Review of Research in Ancient China’s Night Market», Journal of Hebei University, 38, 5, 2013, pp.106-113

(*) Luc Gwiazdzinski is a geographer and director of the Master Innovation et territoire at the Université Grenoble Alpes. He has organized some twenty colloquium and research projects on night and urban temporalities. He is the author of numerous articles and books on these issues, including La nuit dernière frontière de la ville (L’aube); la Ville 24h/24 (L’Aube); La Nuit en questions (Hermann); Nuits d’Europe (UTBM), L’hybridation des mondes (Elya); Chronotopies (Elya).

(*) Marco Maggioli is a geographer at the IULM in Milan and coordinator of the Masters in tourism, management and territory. His main areas of research are cultural and social geography, the geography of tourism, urban geography, and the methodologies of geographical research. He is the author of over one hundred scholarly articles, including, most recently, with C. Arbore, Territorialità. Concetti, narrazioni, pratiche. Saggi per Angelo Turco; Territorialità, legalità e legittimità presso i felupe della Guinea Bissau, 2017.

(*) Will Straw is James McGill Professor of Urban Media Studies in the Department of Art History and Communications Studies at McGill University (Canada). He is the author of over 150 articles on popular muisc, cinema and urban culture. He is co-editor of the book Circulation and the city: Essays on Urban Culture » (Mc Gill-Queens University Press, 2010) and has directed several research projects on media, urban culture and night.