Call for proposals


International Colloquium
First interdisciplinary approach to World Nights

Rabat (Morocco) 19-20 June 2020

The night, a long-forgotten dimension of the city, is now at the heart of urban issues in research, in the making of the city, its development, management, tourism and governance. Socio-economic studies, strategic approaches and public policies are gradually emerging in many countries and on different continents. In research, a new interdisciplinary field is gradually being structured around "night studies" or "night research".

Up to the last few years, work on the night has focused more on cities in the North, or even on a few metropolises in South America, Australia or Asia, particularly China. However, there is still little work in the "regions of the South", particularly in the southern Mediterranean, the Maghreb, the Mashreq, Black Africa and the rest of the world. How are nights experienced in these regions? How are nights inhabited in these regions? How are they organized? When research does exist, what are the preferred angles of approach? What is the place of culture and religion? What is the relationship to gender and various forms of sexuality? What is the place of women? What is the generational approach? What are the night traditions? What developments? Which organizations? Which services? What rhythms? What means of transport? What forms of mobility? Which populations? Which activities? What conflicts? What innovations? What future(s) for the nights in southern countries? What social changes are taking place and asserting themselves through the night? Could the night play a role in the process of ecological transition? And finally, what are the specific features of urban nights in the South and what are the contributions to the reflections underway in other regions of the world?

To try and answer these questions, several non-exclusive "entries" will be privileged: territories and times of the night (events, traditions, rites...); economies of the night (informal, marketing...); people of the night; tensions, conflicts, innovations, do-it-yourself, adaptations of people, organizations and territories but also approach methodologies (...)

Beyond these indicative entries, all proposals on "Nuits des suds" (Nights in the regions of the South) will be carefully examined, regardless of their disciplinary and geographical origins.


The aim of this colloquium is to bring together researchers from different disciplines (geography, planning, art, history, sociology, urban planning, etc.), artists, and speakers from different countries to discuss ways of approaching nights in the regions of the South, of using, creating, living, inhabiting and protecting them. These reflections and exchanges will enrich the dynamic of the emergence of Nights Studies.


The two-day conference (it will take place just before the longest night of the year) will be an opportunity to mobilize specialists around communications but also night immersion and workshops, taking advantage of the festivities organized as part of the "Mawazine, rythms of the world" festival, from 19 to 27 June 2020, an event that brings together more than a million people and metamorphoses the nights of the Moroccan capital. The program will be organized around four main areas:

Axis 1: Public spaces and territories

The point here is questioning different disciplines on the practices and representations of the city at night through public spaces, their designs, layouts, lighting, users' experiences of and urbanities. The new political mobilizations that are taking place in city squares from Chile to India and Lebanon will also be interesting to address. Here, the city at night is also to be approached in its historical depth through events, traditions as well as rites and rituals. Similarly, all forms of artistic expression will be welcome in order to highlight the plural dimensions of the night. The gender issue will provide a central dimension. While the city is often privileged in research on the night, work on rural areas will be welcome.

Axis 2 : Economies of the night

Beyond the simple matters of conviviality and celebration, the night can also be approached as a resource, a moment of production, a sector that creates wealth and jobs, but also as a space-time of tension and resistance, a hostile and sparsely populated environment under pressure. In metropolises facing the continuous time of the economy and networks, part of the social and economic life now remains in a state of wakefulness. The night has become a profitable economic sector. However, within this territory, night players are not well-known as yet: transporters, shopkeepers, caterers, cleaning and security agents, policemen, doctors and nurses...On the other hand, the night space gives rise to a new city-life. It concerns other populations, outlines other centralities and sketches other borders and boundaries. How do night users or "night owls" use up the city?

Here, the night can be approached as a territory to be explored through its inhabitants, their practices, genders, statuses or adaptation strategies to specific constraints.

What is expected here are therefore proposals designed to broaden and refine knowledge about economic practices and activities in the city at night, the spaces concerned, night folks and their histories as well as the tensions and conflicting dimensions of the night.

Axis 3: Innovations, governance and urban planning

International experience has shown that the decline (or rise) of nightlife can be detrimental to the city and its inhabitants. In this context, state players are now trying to upgrade and revitalize the night. The approaches adopted by these cities cannot be understood independently of the globalization process. The experiences of "mayors of the night" (Paris, Amsterdam...) cannot go unnoticed. In this context, the urban night has become part of the political agenda of the authorities in charge of innovation, town planning and urban development. Long marginal and 'left behind', this space-time has recently become a key element in the transformation of the city.

We are interested here in the strategies adopted by the actors and urban policies (such as "Mumbai 24X7" in India) put in place to respond to the emerging issues facing cities in the South. What approaches have been implemented in order to, on the one hand, underline the local nightlife attractiveness and, on the other hand, to limit its undesirable effects? What new forms of activism are being deployed around lighting, noise, transport and women's safety?

Axis 4: Methodologies of approach to the night in social sciences

Does studying the night involve a specific methodology or methodologies? Attempting to choose between a qualitative or quantitative approach to approaching the night remains linked to research objectives. While politicians have tended to find quantitative results convincing (they are easily transposable), the qualitative methods developed by some researchers have made it possible to reveal the little-known and profound dimensions of urban nights and metropolises' specific characteristics.

We are interested here in contributions that question the use of qualitative and quantitative methods, sensitive approaches in night studies and the possible combinations and articulations between these methodologies.

Organizing committee:

Sanae Aljem, Institut National d'aménagement et d'urbanisme du Maroc, Rabat (Maroc) // Imane Bkiri, Chercheur associé au CJB / Wafae Belarbi, Ecole Nationale d'Architecture, Rabat (Maroc) / Luc Gwiazdzinski, Université Grenoble Alpes (France) / Farzane Hajar, Université Grenoble Alpes (France) / Aziz Iraki, Institut National d'aménagement et d'urbanisme du Maroc, Rabat (Maroc) / Mohamed Hanzaz, Institut National d'aménagement et d'urbanisme du Maroc, Rabat (Maroc) / Tarik Harroud, Institut National d'aménagement et d'urbanisme du Maroc, Rabat (Maroc) / Abdellah Moussalih, Institut National d'aménagement et d'urbanisme du Maroc, Rabat (Maroc) / Will Straw, McGill University (Canada). 

Scientific committee:

Adamou Abdoulaye, University of Zinder, Zinder (Niger) / Mustafa Akalay Nasser, UPF (Morocco) / Fatima Alikhan, Hyderabad(India) / Sanae Aljem, Institut National d'aménagement et d'urbanisme du Maroc, Rabat (Morocco) / Christelle Alvergne, UNCDF (Senegal) / Marie Avril Berthet, University of Leeds (Great Britain) / Atephed Amid, London (Great Britain) / Nacima Baron, Université Marne la Vallée (France) / Aurore Monod Becquelin, Laboratoire d'ethnologie et de sociologie comparative, CNRS, Paris (France) / / Wafae Belarbi, Ecole Nationale d'Architecture, Rabat (Morocco) / Anne-GaelBilhaut, UniversidadInternacionaldelEcuador (Ecuador) / FaresBoubakour, Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, Algiers (Algeria) / Mohamed Chadli, INSAP, Rabat (Morocco) / Dominique Crozat, University of Montpellier (France) / Ibrahim Bouzou Moussa, Abdou Moumouni University of Niamey (Niger) / Patrick Chamoiseau, writer (France) / Matteo Colleoni, Universitadeglistudi di Milano Bicocca (Italy) / Cécilia Comelli, CNRS, Bordeaux (France) / Mounir Douib, University of Carthage (Tunisia) / Thomas Fouquet, CNRS (IMAF/MOVIDA) (Senegal) / Marcos Gois, Universidadefederal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) / Luc Gwiazdzinski, IUGA, Laboratoire Pacte, Université Grenoble Alpes (France) / Aziz Iraki, Institut National d'aménagement et d'urbanisme du Maroc, Rabat (Morocco) / Mohamed Hanzaz, Institut National d'aménagement et d'urbanisme du Maroc, Rabat (Morocco ) / Tarik Harroud, Institut National d'aménagement et d'urbanisme du Maroc, Rabat (Maroc) / Véronique Nahoum Grappe, EHESS (France) / Wenbo Hu, Shanghai (China) / CorneliuIa CorneliuIatu, Ioan Cuza University, Iasi (Romania) / Mohammed Idrissi Janati, Mohamed V University, Rabat (Morocco) / Marco Magioli, IULM, Milan (Italy) / Laurent Matthey, University of Geneva (Switzerland) / Mohamed Melyani, University of Picardie (France) / Abdellah Moussalih, Institut National d'aménagement et d'urbanisme du Maroc, Rabat (Morocco) / AshweenParulkar, Center for Policy Research (India) / Marion Roberts, School of Architecture &Cities, Newcastle (Great Britain) / Papa Sakho, Université Cheikh Anta Diop (Senegal) / Joelle Sazk, Université de Provence (France) /Robert Shaw, Newcascle University (Great Britain) / Will Straw, McGill, Department of Art History and Communications Studies (Canada) / Andreina Seijas, Harvard University (USA) / Mohamed Tamim, Institut National d'aménagement et d'urbanisme du Maroc, Rabat (Morocco) / Angelo Turco, IULM Milan (Italy) / Alejandro Mercado-Celis, UniversidadNacionalAutónoma de México (Mexico) / Chris Younes, ENSA Clermont Ferrand (France) / Marie-Hélène Zerah, IRD, Delhi (India).


Proposition submission deadline: by 30 March 2020

Reply to authors: 15 April 2020

Confirmation and release of the official program: 30 April 2020

Authors are to send their final papers: by 20 May 2020

Date of the colloquium: Friday 19 and Saturday 20 June 2020

Guidelines for submitting proposals :

Proposals for papers should be sent by e-mail in one of the three colloquium languages (French, Arabic and English) in Word format to the following addresses:;; and lucmarcg@gmail.comavant on 15 March 2020. They should include the following elements:

- the authors' and co-authors' names with affiliation information (first name, surname, status, institution) as well as a short biographical note for each;

- authors' and co-authors' contact information;

- a title;

- a list of five key words;

- an abstract of approximately 4,000 characters including spaces. This abstract will develop the questioning and the research approach (conceptual and methodological framework) as well as the results, findings or feedback;

- the thematic focus should be clearly identified;

- an indicative bibliography of 8 references maximum.

Each proposal will be evaluated by members of the colloquium scientific committee. Publishing the best proposals is possible in the framework of the special issue of an international journal. The three colloquium languages will be French, Arabic and English.

Bibliographic references: 

Cabantous A. (2009), Histoire de la nuit: XVIIe-XVIIIe siècle, Paris, Fayard.

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 de Janeiro", in Gema Santamaria and David Carey, eds. Violence and Crime in Latin America: Representations and Politics, University of Oklahoma Press, pp. 143-156.

Deleuil, J.-M. (dir.) (2009), Éclairer la ville autrement. Innovations et expérimentations en éclairage public, Lausanne, Presses universitaires et polytechniques romandes.

Eberling M. M., Henckel D. (2002), Alles zu jeder Zeit? Die Städte auf dem Weg zur kontinuierlichen Aktivität. Berlin, Deutsches Institut für Urbanistik.

Hölker, F., Wolter, C., Perkin, E. K. et Tockner, K. (2010), "Light pollution as a biodiversity threat", Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 25, 12, pp. 681-682.

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.

Crary, J. (2013), 24/7, Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep. Verso Books.

Giordano E., Gwiazdzinski L., (2018), "La notte urbana, una nuova frontiera per la ricerca geografica in Italia", RGI.

Gwiazdzinski L. (2015), "The Urban Night: a Space Time for Innovation and Sustainable Development", Journal of urban Research, 11, pp. 1-15

Gwiazdzinski L. (2003), La ville 24h/24, La Tour d'Aigues, L'Aube.

Gwiazdzinski L. (2005), La nuit dernière frontière de la ville, La Tour d'Aigues, L'Aube.

Hu W. et al. (2017), "Les nuits de Shanghaï. Première approche spatio-temporelle à partir des réseaux numériques sociaux", Netcom and Communication studies, 30, 3-4, pp.5-12

Kersale Y. (1998), Lumière matière, Gallery-Ma.

Koslovsky C. (2011), Evening's Empire, Cambridge University Press.

Mallet S., Burger C. (2016), "What Place for Night-time in the Urban Policy of a French Intermediate City?", Journal of Urban Research 11, (Retrieved October 26, 2016).

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.

Palmer B. (2000), Cultures of Darkness. Night Travels in the History of Transgression, New York, Monthly Press.

Perraut-Soliveres A. (2001), Infirmières, le savoir de la nuit, Paris, PUF.

Pulido Llano G. (2016), El mapa «rojo» del pecado: miedo y vida nocturna en la ciudad de México 1940-1950, Mexico City, INAH.

Roberts M., Eldridge A. (2009), Planning the Night-time City. New-York, Routledge.

Shaw R. (2015), "Alive after Five: Constructing the Neoliberal Night in Newcastle upon Tyne", Urban Studies, 52, pp. 456-70.

Straw W. (2016), "Penser la nuit", in Gwiazdzinski L., La nuit, dernière frontière de la ville, Paris, Rhuthmos, pp.7-10.

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.

Talbot D. (2007), Regulating the Night. Race, Culture and Exclusion in the Making of the Night-time Economy. Aldershot, Ashgate.

Verdon J. (1994), La Nuit au Moyen Âge, Paris, Perrin.

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.