CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS: SPECIAL ISSUE OF Scapegoat ON NIGHT, co-edited by Christie Pearson and Will Straw

Scapegoat Architecture/ Landscape/ Political Economy

NIGHT stubbornly embraces the hidden, illicit, clandestine, lunatic, aquatic and unconscious. Management of the NIGHT grows as it is increasingly understood as a scene of production and an economic horizon. Yet NIGHT’s resistance is palpable. It is the object of interventions in urban culture, such as Nuits Blanches, lighting festivals, and the Dark Sky movement. It is on the agenda of city governments everywhere, as clashes over night-time noise, illumination, safety and freedom of movement focus broader tensions over gentrification and urban citizenship.

This issue of Scapegoat will look at the aesthetics, politics and technologies of the urban night.

NIGHT brings architecture and landscape into this shadow of everyday life.

Brief proposals for projects, essays and reviews should be sent by December 2, 2015 to scapegoatsays@gmail.com

Publication: Spring 2016

Please see previous issues for examples at scapegoatjournal.org and our Style Sheet for submission criteria. scapegoatjournal.org


New issue of l’ena:  hors les murs — Magazine des Anciens Elèves de l’ENA (France) on night

l'ENA nuit










Germany:  New issue of “stadt-pilot” on night culture 













Call for proposals:  panel on night at  the 24th World Congress of Political Science, Istanbul (July 23-28, 2016)

Who Owns the Night? Night-Time Social Order, Night-Time Users and Night-Time Policies

Convenor:  Dr. Nicolas Kaciaf

Open panel in RC32 Public Policy and Administration

Chair: Dr. Thomas Alam

Language: English

Conference website:  https://istanbul2016.ipsa.org/events/congress/istanbul2016/home

The panel analyses from a comparative perspective how the night is built as a “public problem” by local or national authorities. Is the night defined as a special time-space which requires specific interventions from public authorities? Do rules and tools of public regulation change during the “dark hours”? What are the conceptions of the social order which justify such changes? In other words, who owns the night?

The issue is also to compare how the night and its norms are constructed by its publics (i.e. groups who define themselves as night users: “night birds”, “ordinary sleepers”, homeless, night-time workers) and how public authorities categorise and organise them into a hierarchy.

  1. a) Mobilisations (from bar and club owners to local residents…) have to be taken seriously since they partake in the problematisation of nightlife and create spokespersons for public institutions.
  1. b) Panellists should study how public authorities (city councils, police departments, State administrations, etc.) grant legitimacy or not to specific publics through discourses, silences or consultative bodies they can set up.
  1. c) Last but not least, one has to consider how the implementation of public policies regulating night-time activities are dividing night-users between “good” and “bad” publics since certain practices are tolerated while others are labelled as deviant and cracked down on.

Overall, these various dimensions are an opportunity to question social mix in the city after dark.



About The Urban Night blog

The Urban Night is the website of an interdisciplinary, inter-university research project concerned with the nocturnal life of cities.  Supported in its initial phases by an Insight Development Grant  from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, this project studies the urban night from the perspectives of aesthetics, urban policy, social conflict and cultural innovation.  The project director is Prof. Will Straw,Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada and Professor in the Department of Art History and Communications Studiesat McGill University.

The full text of the SSHRC Insight Development Grant proposal is available here.

The launch of this project has been inspired by two relatively recent developments. One is the emergence of the night as a  focus of rich scholarship by historians, sociologists, anthropologists, art historians and others over the past two decades.  Works such as Paris la nuit:  Chroniques nocturnes and Evening’s Empire:  A History of the Night in Early Modern Europe set the night within broad transformations of social, political and cultural life.

Another development has been a range of interventions which have sought to rethink the status of the urban night within economic, governmental and cultural discourse.  Governments at all levels across the world have commissioned studies on night-time culture and night-time economies over the last two decades.  Initiatives like Nuits blanches,  which challenge the normal time-sequencing of cultural events, have proliferated.  Citizens, activists and cultural creators have assembled to reflect upon the status of night in their communities.

While this project is rooted initially in Canada, we engage regularly in collaboration with scholars and networks based in other countries.

We acknowledge the support of the Social Sciences and Research Council of Canada and McGill’s Arts Undergraduate Research Internship Award program, which have supported this site and the research on which it rests.  We acknowledge, as well, the important work of Joseph Henry in setting up and designing this site and the research assistance of Kathryn Yuen.

Will Straw

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