Nocturnal Ethnographies: Aesthetics and Imaginaries of the Night

How do ethnographers conduct research at and on night? Are there specific sensibilities linked to the segment of the 24-hour cycle that emerge when night falls? What sort of imaginaries and aesthetics do the nocturnal hours invoke? The articulated and rich responses that we gathered around these questions in the current issue testify to the urgent need to address them, especially in a field – social sciences – that has been historically tied to diurnal practices and day-centered methods (such as observation and visual methods that are so deeply linked to light and clear vision, see Diamanti and Boudreault-Fournier 2021).

Moreover, the focus on the aesthetics and imaginaries of the night aims to bridge the social sciences and the humanities gap, in an attempt to enrich the discussion around sensory, creative and interdisciplinary methods. The eleven contributions to this issue reflect on how the imaginaries and the aesthetics of the night affect the work and methods of ethnographers, their fieldwork experiences and their approaches, as well as humans and more-than-humans alike inhabiting the night. By adopting such a lens, we recognize the affective and performative dimension of the imaginaries of the night and the relational quality of its aesthetics.

This issue of Ethnologies aims to foster the debate by gathering interdisciplinary contributions on ethnographic studies that engage with the night from an imaginative and aesthetic perspective. Our goal is to map nocturnal ethnographies and understand how night affects scholarly research, as well as to contribute to the field of Night Studies that has emerged in the last twenty years.

The issue collects eleven original articles from established and emergent scholars in the field of Night Studies, as well as a preface and an afterward. To read the issue, go to this page: Ethnographies nocturnes : esthétiques et imaginaires de la nuit. Ethnologies – Érudit (

Cite this blog post
Manuel Garcia-Ruiz (2023, June 28). Nocturnal Ethnographies: Aesthetics and Imaginaries of the Night. International Night Studies Network. Retrieved March 1, 2024, from

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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