Call for Papers – Special Issue : NOCTURNAL CITIES : PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE

Guest Editors

Jordi Nofre
FCT Associate Research Professor in Urban Geography
LXNIGHTS Research Group | Coordinator
Centro Interdisciplinar de Ciências Socias
Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas
Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Manuel Garcia-Ruiz
Researcher in Sociology
International Night Studies Network | Coordinator
Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Sociologia
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL)

Alejandro Mercado Celis
Investigador Centro de Investigaciones sobre América del Norte – UNAM
Coordinador del Área de Estudios de la Globalidad
Embajador de la Regional Studies Association en México


At the time of writing this special issue proposal (November 2022), the night in many cities in the Global South and Global North is glowing again after more than two and a half years of night-time curfews and forced closures of nightlife-related businesses. Today, every weekend, tens of thousands of people go out to dine, meet friends or even dance ; thousands more work at night in back-office and logistics centres, supply centres, essential services and health institutions ; many (consumers of cultural and leisure activities, and workers) use night-time public transport, digital ride-hailing platforms, or even take their own vehicle to cross the city. Meanwhile, a number (difficult to quantify, but significant) of informal workers (e.g., domestic workers, street food vendors, street dealers, and male, female and transgender sex workers) carry out their activities at night, some of them taking advantage of the liminal anonymity of darkness.

Undoubtedly, the increase in urban economic, cultural and nightlife activity presents a truly surprising range of tangible and intangible dimensions that has to date been little addressed by the scholar community. On the one hand, the concept of ’urban night’ also implies the existence of a ’non-urban night’ that includes not only rural nights, but also metropolitan (suburban or peri-urban) nights. All of these kind of ’nights’ are largely unknown knowledge areas that deserve more academic attention. After all, the economic importance of urban centres is inversely proportional to the volume of population of suburban and metropolitan territories. Interestingly, these territories shelter fascinating night scenes that are in most cases unknown to the central city. Their dimension for the development – for example – of the cultural avant-garde, alternative, alter/anti-capitalist and in some cases even depatriarchalising, has so far not received sufficient academic (journalistic or political) attention. On the other hand, ’the night’ can be seen as a space-time of cultural production and consumption in its different formal and informal, institutional and non-institutional versions. In the formation of this very particular space-time, the symbolic, emotional and affective permeates all spatial, social, cultural and economic phenomena at night.

To speak of ’the night’ is also to speak in environmental terms and of the different discursive conflicts that arise in the conception and exercise of the governance of ’the night’. One example of this is the promotion of commercial nightlife as a central element of the tourism industry in the face of the systematic breach of the constitutional right to physical integrity (i.e. rest and sleep) and its impact on the individual physical and mental health of populations living in neighbourhoods characterised by the strong presence of nightlife establishments. Another example, among several that currently exist, is the lighting of public spaces as a safety mechanism in the face of the so-called “right to a dark sky” or the impact of noise pollution on vertebrates, invertebrates and plant species, both in terrestrial and aquatic environments.

Talking about the night also means looking at both the past and the future simultaneously. On the one hand, recovering the retrospective image of the Roaring Twenties of the last century to predict what the return to normality would be like, or even claiming the material and immaterial cultural heritage character of nightlife establishments with decades of life in the face of their definitive closure due to hotel speculation or institutional-police pressure, brings us back to the fundamental importance of reconstructing nightlife (not only urban) of the past. It is precisely this historiographical exercise of our social and cultural life in the past through the analytical lens of the ’night’ that allows us to claim the importance of the ’Whos’ and ’Hows’ when writing our historical memory (which is a memory also written at night). Full knowledge of our past and our present, without nuances or rose-tinted colours to sweeten it, allows us to reflect, debate and (self-)determine what future we want and what means should be mobilised to achieve it.

This special issue, edited by Jordi Nofre (CICS.NOVA, Portugal), Manuel García-Ruiz (CIES, ISCTE-IUL, Portugal), and Alejando Mercado Celis (CISAN-UNAM, Mexico) aims to build a space for interdisciplinary and open access scientific debate on one of the least explored research topics to date in the Social Sciences and Humanities : the night. This special issue, “Nocturnal Cities : Past, present, and future” aims to bring together scientific articles written from the fields of Social Sciences and Humanities, as well as Life Sciences, Health Sciences, Physics, Chemistry, Economics or Law that contain a clear interdisciplinary integration with one or more disciplines of the Social Sciences and Humanities. Manuscripts may be written in Portuguese, Spanish, French or English.

The number of articles foreseen for the dossier ranges between 6 and 10 and will be published in the journal Forum Sociológico (a Portuguese prestigious, indexed OAJ) in December 2023.

Submission Of Articles

Full manuscripts of no more than 40,000 characters including spaces (abstract, footnotes/endnotes, figures, tables, and references included) should be sent by e-mail, in Word (.docx) format, to Forum Sociológico ( with the title of the special issue in the subject field of the e-mail and no later than 31 March 2023. The following timetable will be strictly respected, and authors who do not respect the proposed timetable will be excluded from the final participation in this special issue.

Proposal submissionNovember 2022X
CFP – Starting DateJanuary 2023X
CFP – Deadline for Full Manuscripts31 March 2023
Blind peer review – Deadline (including all review rounds)31 August 2023
Acceptance/Rejection of Full Manuscripts1 September 2023
SPI Launch15 December 2023

Rules For The Submission Of Originals

Manuscripts should follow the format specified for original submissions below.

Manuscripts proposed for publication must be anonymous and accompanied by a separate file with all the information about the authors (name, e-mail and institutional affiliation indicated at three levels : University, Faculty or School, Department or Research Centre).

Articles should have a maximum of 40,000 characters (including spaces, abstracts, notes, references, tables, and figures, making about 18 pages), and will only be considered for blind peer review if authors do not exceed the stipulated character limit. Authors are recommended to follow the following structure for scientific articles : introduction ; theoretical framework ; methods ; results ; discussion and conclusions ; acknowledgements ; notes ; references.

Texts should begin with a title and abstract in the language of the text and in Portuguese and English, if not written in these languages, with a maximum of 1,000 characters (10 lines), followed by 3 or 4 keywords in these languages and an indication of the number of characters (with spaces). Abstracts should include the following information : introduction to the study ; reference to the theoretical and methodological approaches ; main results ; conclusion and relevance of the work.

Texts should be submitted on A4 pages, double-spaced (also valid for the bibliography), in Times New Roman font, size 12, with top, bottom left and right margins of 2 cm. Tables, graphs and figures must be numbered continuously, in Arabic numerals, for each of the respective elements (Table 1 ; Graph 1 ; Figure 1) and must be sent in JPG format (minimum resolution 300 dpi). Citations and bibliographical references should follow the APA 7th edition citation standard.

The use of third-party material must be accompanied by a statement of permission for use with legal consent and must be obtained by the authors of the publication.

More information

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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