CFP 5th International Conference on Night Studies – Special Theme: LGBTQ+ Nights

Nighttime spaces have played a crucial role as safe havens for the LGBTQI+ community. These places offer a sanctuary where individuals can express their identity and sexual orientation with greater freedom than in other contexts.

From the earliest bars and clubs to modern nightlife centers, these spaces have provided a path for meeting and solidarity. For decades, when LGBTQI+ expression was marginalized or even penalized, nighttime spaces were often the only places where individuals could gather without fear of persecution, and even in these secure places, many times they were chased by police. These spaces are not just important for entertainment, but also for building communities and support networks. Within them, friendships and relationships are forged, experiences are shared, and emotional and social supports are offered that can be difficult to find elsewhere.Other places, such as cruising areas, either public or private, should also be considered as night spaces for intimate socialization and as important as bars, clubs, and discos.

Despite their importance, these spaces face challenges such as gentrification, economic pressures, and changing social dynamics. Digitization and dating apps have also changed the way the LGBTQI+ communitymeets and socializes, impacting the traditional relevance of nighttime spaces.

The night has been a breeding ground for the creativity and artistic expression of the LGBTQI+ community. Drag shows, in particular, are an iconic element of LGBTQI+ nightlife culture. These shows are not just entertainment but also acts of personal and political expression, challenging gender norms and celebrating diversity.

LGBTQI+ clubs and bars have been birthplaces for numerous musical genres and styles. Disco, house, and techno music, for example, have deep roots in LGBTQI+nightlife culture, providing a rhythm for liberation and celebration. Beyond entertainment, these spaces have also inspired a rich variety of visual and literary art. From photography to painting and writing, LGBTQI+ artists have used their art to capture and express the complexities of LGBTQI+ nightlife.

The interaction between nightlife and LGBTQI+ activism has been a significant engine for social and political change. Many LGBTQI+ rights movements have their roots in nighttime spaces. A prominent example is the Stonewall riots of 1969, which arose in response to a police raid on a gay bar in New York. This event is often considered the catalyst for the modern LGBTQI+ rights movement.

Nighttime bars and clubs not only offered safe spaces for socialization but also functioned as centers for political organization and mobilization. These places allowed for the dissemination of information and the planning of collective actions in an era where censorship and repression were common. Events like Pride have their origins in the history of resistance and struggle of the LGBTQI+ community. Many of these celebrations continue to have a strong nighttime presence, combining the commemoration of past achievements with the claim for rights and the celebration of diversity.

LGBTQI+ nighttime spaces are meeting points where diverse identities converge, and intersectionality plays a crucial role in the experience of these communities. In nightlife, gender identities, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and social class intertwine. This can result in rich and varied experiences but can also reveal tensions and inequalities within the LGBTQI+community itself. While some spaces are welcoming and safe for a wide range of identities, others can be exclusive or inaccessible to certain groups. This raises questions about how to create and maintain truly inclusive spaces. Intersectionality in LGBTQI+nightlife presents both challenges and opportunities for solidarity and activism. Understanding and addressing the different experiences and needs within the community can lead to greater empowerment and cohesion.

Politics and legislation exert a significant influence on the nighttime experience of the LGBTQI+ community. Laws regulating operating hours, alcohol licenses, and safety standards directly impact the viability and nature of LGBTQI+ nighttime spaces. These regulations can vary widely between regions, affecting the accessibility and experience of these spaces.

Laws that affect the rights of the LGBTQI+ community, such as those prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, have a direct impact on the nighttime experience. In contexts where these protections are weak or nonexistent, nighttime spaces may be the only places where the LGBTQI+ communitycan freely express themselves. Nighttime spaces have also been platforms for activism and the struggle for legal changes. Campaigns for marriage equality, anti-discrimination laws, and other civil rights have found support and visibility in these spaces.

Nightlife presents unique challenges and opportunities related to the health and well-being of the LGBTQI+ community. Nighttime spaces can be places of support and relief for those facing stigma and discrimination in other aspects of their lives. However, they can also present challenges related to isolation, anxiety, and depression, especially if these spaces are the only environments of acceptance.

Nightlife is often associated with the consumption of alcohol and other substances. This can have both positive and negative implications for health and well-being, including the potential for substance abuse and associated risks. LGBTQI+ nighttime spaces play an important role in education and the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. Public health programs and awareness campaigns often focus on these spaces to disseminate information and offer resources.

LGBTQI+ nighttime spaces have a significant impact on the local and broader economy through various channels. Bars, clubs, and other LGBTQI+ nighttime spaces are important generators of employment and economic activity. These businesses not only provide socialization spaces but are also sources of income for many people within the community.

LGBTQI+ nightlife-related tourism is a significant sector. Cities known for their vibrant LGBTQI+ nightlife scene attract visitors from all over the world, benefiting the local economy through spending on lodging, food, entertainment, and more.

Cultural events such as LGBTQI+ film festivals, art exhibitions, and pride parades, which often have a nighttime component, also contribute to the economy. These events attract a diverse audience and foster cultural and economic exchange.

The relationship between the night and LGBTQI+collectives is constantly evolving, reflecting changes in society, technology, and cultural attitudes. With the advancement of rights and social acceptance of the LGBTQI+ community, nighttime spaces are also changing. This includes greater inclusion and diversification of nighttime spaces, as well as the emergence of new types of gatherings and events. Technology, especially dating apps and social media, has transformed the way the LGBTQI+ community connects and socializes. This has impacted both the relevance of physical nighttime spaces and the nature of social interactions within the community. As social and technological dynamics change, so do the forms of expression and activism in the community. This includes everything from art and culture to forms of protest and rights claims.

Suggested topics:

– History of LGBTQI+ Night Safe Spaces

– Music, Balls, Dance, Performance, Fashion and Drag

– LGBTQI+ Night Arts

– Regulations of Nighttime Spaces

– Night Activism and Legal Change

– LGBTQI+ wellbeing at night

– LGBTQI+ Night Business and Employment

– LGBTQI+ Night Tourism

– LGBTQI+ Night Culture and Events

These subtopics provide a detailed framework for exploring the complex interaction between nightlife and the experiences of LGBTQI+ communities. They are useful for both academic research and a broader understanding of these dynamics.


  • Methods and Methodologies for Night Studies
  • The urban night in the past in the Global South, East, and North
  • Night, Religion, and Myths
  • Experiences in night management: Retrospective and Prospective Approaches
  • Public policies and night
  • Work and night workers
  • Urban regeneration practices associated with night and nightlife
  • Night transportation and urban mobility
  • Nightlife and tourism
  • Festivals and events
  • Live music, culture and arts in the Nocturnal City
  • Lighting in urban space: artistic, functional and environmental practices
  • Past, present, and future of safety and surveillance in the night
  • Informality, (in/ex)clusion and/or marginality in the nocturnal city
  • Nocturnal soundscapes, atmospheres, and ambiences (digital and physical)
  • Night and Media

We welcome both theoretical and empirical contributions that critically engage with the conference themes. We particularly encourage submissions that consider the intersectionality of nighttime experiences with issues such as gender, race, class, and sexuality. The conference will provide a forum for interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration, as well as opportunities for networking and engagement with urban practitioners and policymakers.

We look forward to receiving your contributions and to fostering fruitful discussions on the fascinating and complex subject of nighttime, night leisure, and night studies.

Proposal types

Oral Communications

  • Traditional academic communications.
  • We encourage Non traditional formats too.
  • Each communication will have 15 minutes time.
  • Only one submission as first author, maximum of two as co-author.

Organised closed sessions

  • If you would like to contribute by organising a closed session focused on a particular topic, please submit a proposal including a description of that topic, abstracts, and short bios of the speakers.


  • Tutorials and other workshops will take place along the conference. If you are interested in offering a workshop, please submit a proposal including a description of the content and target audience.

Documentaries and Audiovisual

  • ICNS welcomes submissions of documentaries and audiovisual content.
  • Selected material will join the conference on a dedicated session/or included on a thematic session.


Submissions and important days:

Submissions Deadline: 30 June 2024


The 5th International Conference on Night Studies is an international event that aims to echo frontier research, artistic works and professional practices related to the study of the urban night in multiple contexts worldwide.

This event aims to be a platform for sharing ongoing or recent research, opening a critical and interdisciplinary debate, and boost e-networking, bringing together academia and society.

ICNS is a collaborative effort of the International Night Studies Network (INSN) and the LXNIGHTS Research Group with the institutional support of the Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology (CIES-Iscte), the Interdisciplinary Center of Social Sciences at NOVA University Lisbon (CICS.NOVA), and the Institute of Sociology — University of Porto (ISUP).

Cite this blog post
Manuel Garcia-Ruiz (2024, January 21). CFP 5th International Conference on Night Studies – Special Theme: LGBTQ+ Nights. International Night Studies Network. Retrieved April 16, 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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