Final International Congress “Noz Num”

14th and 16th march 2023

University of Brest, France

The nighttime city is not a uniform space-time. It is composed of different temporalities and socioeconomic and cultural dynamics of its own, including a specific organization of territories and an offer of urban nighttime services often concentrated around “spots” of animation. The nocturnal city is not a neutral space-time either. It is the place where “gendered norms take shape” and where they are reproduced through daily interactions between users. Thus, access to and practices in night-time public spaces are gendered, that is, structured by unequal social relations based on gender. Numerous research studies report a feeling of fear and insecurity in these spaces, higher for women than for men, which impacts women’s mobility. However, it is worth noting the paradox, widely discussed and questioned, that according to official statistical data, women are less likely to be victims of assault in public space by strangers, than men. On the one hand, it is the types of aggression and violence counted in these official statistics (and those left out) as well as the social, political and media injunctions on the supposed and natural fragility of the female body, which feed this paradox and reinforce the narrative that urban space, at night, is a space-time to be avoided. This deconstruction of the paradox reveals first of all that the category “women” is apprehended as homogeneous, whereas the intersection of characteristics (age, social class, racialization, gender identity or sexual orientation) is at the origin of a diversity of positionings, experiences and practices of the city at night. In this sense, an intersectional approach is fundamental to a better understanding of the uses of and access to urban space at night, which also makes it possible not to lose sight of the unequal context of gender relations. Then, everything concurs to show that the feeling of fear and insecurity is a social construction linked to gendered social relations as well as to hegemonic social representations of the masculine and the feminine. The theory of social representations thus constitutes a relevant epistemological framework to apprehend the way in which the urban nocturnal space is elaborated and invested with meanings by people, according to their social insertions. Social representations are defined as forms of knowledge, socially elaborated and shared with a practical aim and contributing to the construction of a reality common to a social group. 

The exploration of the social representations of the feeling of fear and insecurity linked to the city at night, elaborated by various women, will make it possible to reveal the diversity of the strategies developed by these women to circulate and practice the city at night, following the example of various research studies carried out previously on this same axis in Human Sciences.

In addition to this work, there are other works that take a more quantitative approach. For example, in the researches linked to the urban morphology by categorized the spaces that participants (women) identify as reassuring or not. This qualitative data is correlated with physiological measures collected during walks conducted by participants in the same neighborhood. This type of research, despite certain limitations (conditions of the experiment, exclusively student population), constitutes a decision aid for city managers in terms of urban planning.

The various researches in computer science of emotions which allow the collection of physiological measurements (heart rate, perspiration, walking speed among others) offer the possibility to confront these measurements with the data of the Human Sciences, the discourses and representations of the nocturnal city, in order to have a more complex view of the actions, reactions and emotions related to the urban walking at night.

The conference will focus on experiences of walking at night in the city, mainly of women and the experimental methodologies crossing Human Sciences data and emotion computing, or in artistic approaches and emotion computing, or Human Sciences data and artistic approaches. We also welcome contributions related to other activities linked to mobility at night and methodologies but kindly invite speakers and participants to search for connections with actively, and insight relevant to, walking by night (experiences, representations, practices, emotions, affects). The conference covers a broad range of themes, including the following themes. When submitting your abstract, please mention the theme(s) relevant to your contribution.

  1. Experiences and perceptions about night in women population
  2. Hybrid methodologies related to walking at night (qualitative, quantitative, artistic)
  3. Pedestrians and feeling of safety at night 
  4. Others proposition

The conference will take place face-to-face at the University of Western Brittany, but in view of the international situation, it will be possible as a last resort for foreign researchers to intervene remotely.

Proposals (in French, Spanish, English or Portuguese) must include the name and surname, the title, a summary of the communication of approximately 250 words + bibliography and a brief biographical note. 

They must be sent before December 31st to the following emails:  and

or on the website of congress: 


Abstract Submission before December 31th 2022

Abstract acceptance notification on Janvier 9th 2023

Registration until February 15th 2023

Conference Date: March 14th to 16th 2023

Scientific Committee

Olivier Augereau, École National d’Ingénieurs de Brest, France

Jaime Barrientos, Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Chili Tiana Bakic Hayden, COLMEX, Mexique

gilda charrier, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, France

Nick Dunn, University of Manchester, UK

Christèle Fraisée, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, France

Manuel García-Ruiz, University Institut of Lisbonne, Portugal

Jess Reia, University of Virginia, USA

Will Straw, Université de McGill, Canada

Yolanda Macias, CISAN, UNAM, Mexique

María Estela Mansur, Universidad Nacional de Tierra del Fuego, Argentine

Alejandro Mercado, CISAN, UNAM, Mexique

Emma Morales, ITESO Guadalajara, Mexique

Paolo Nunes, Universidade Federal de Itajubá, Brésil

Organizing committee

Edna Hernández González, MCF, Université de Bretagne Occidentale

Christèle Fraisée, MCF, Université de Bretagne Occidentale

Olivier Augereau, MCF, École National d’Ingénieurs de Brest

Gilda Charrier, MCF, Université de Bretagne Occidentale

Emmanuelle Di Maria, étudiante DUST-MIC, Université de Bretagne Occidentale

Manuel Garcia-Ruiz

He is a PhD Scholar at CIES-Iscte and a Research Collaborator at IS-FLUP. He research on topics such as city branding, cultural regeneration, the commodification of arts and culture, art washing, and the construction of artistic fields.

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