Seminario de investigación franco-mexicano « Etudes sur la nuit /Estudios sobre la noche » (3 de junio 2020)

Cooperación entre el CISAN-UNAM (México) y el Institut de Géoarchitecture, UBO y el IDA-Brest (Francia). Coordinado por Edna Hernández González, Alejandro Mercado Celis y Michaël Spanu.

Ubicación virtual:

Francia: 16h-18h
México: 9h-11h

Programa (sesión en inglés):

Michaël Spanu (CISAN-UNAM): «What the night used to be: YouTube and live music videos as digital heritage of the urban night in North America»

Abstract: Before the coronavirus crisis began, live music events were seen, to some extent, as a sensitive exploration of the urban night that contrasted with functional day-time activities (Bottà & Stahl, 2019). In this sense, the junction of night-time and live music could be considered as a privileged site for the emergence of scenes, understood as cultural spaces of collective participation and belonging (Straw 1991, 2014; Bennett and Peterson 2004). Yet, as an ephemeral activity that was more or less hidden from the public sphere, live music was difficult to map properly and investigate from within (Garcia, 2013b). Simultaneously, digital media and technologies had become crucial in live music reception (Bennett, 2012) and production (Holt, 2010), highlighting the visual dimension of live music (Holt, 2011). Although many commentators and professionals now see digital media as a potential way out of the crisis for the live music industry, it can also be considered as an important tool for the cultural memory of music scenes and their relation with the urban night (Bennett & Rogers 2016a). It is especially the case of YouTube, where a great diversity of live music videos is made available by different actors (from fans to official channels). How are live music videos produced, archived and used on YouTube? How does YouTube constitute an adequate place for live music’s cultural memory? More specifically, how do live music videos on YouTube portray the cultural value of live music and its relation to the urban night? Framing these questions with concepts from media studies, night studies and popular music studies, I consider the case of Montreal’s local scene and draw on a qualitative sample of YouTube live music videos in order to answer these questions. The analysis takes into account three main aspects: 1) the types of actors involved in the production and diffusion of videos, 2) the differences in audiovisual narratives (with a particular attention to the nocturnal dimension of live music), and 3) the specific mediations embedded in the platform that affect heritage practices.

Magali Raphelis (Université de Reims): «The production of nocturnal spaces in middlesize cities. The cases of Dijon and Reims in France»

Abstract: Night-time spaces (Lefebvre, 1974 ; Williams, 2008) have been concerned by major transformations since the 1960s, not only in Europe (Deleuil, 1994 ; Gwiazdzinski, 2002 ; Roberts et al., 2006), but also in North (Melbin, 1978 ; Bertin, 2018) and South (Hernández González, 2010) America, in Africa (Morelle et Fournet-Guérin, 2006 ; Oloukoï, 2015) and in the Middle East (Bonte, 2017). These transformations are undeniably linked with the progressive expansion of night-time activities (Melbin, 1978 ; Gwiazdzinski, 2002),  together with the growing number of students since the 1960s and the delay of the parenthood, which increased the number of number of consumers linked to night time activities (van Liempt et al., 2015). The night-time spaces users, in greater numbers, thereby contributed to transform these spaces : the night-time outing became part of the “routine” for some young people (Guérin, 2017). Nonetheless, they are not the only ones : the public authorities also changed their way of considering the night-time spaces and thus contributed to influence their uses. For instance, the new lighting strategies developed in the “lighting plans” (Mallet, 2009 ; Hernández González, 2010) partly modified the nocturnal geography. Far from being restricted to the lighting policies, these changes also concerned the night-time activities regulation: the aim of this communication is to bring these changes to light. I will study the evolution of the regulatory body of the nocturnal activities in two french middle-sized cities : Reims and Dijon. Although the urban night has been studied in many research works in the last number of years, almost all of this focus on metropolis. By studying middle-sized cities, this research intends to expand the scope (scop) of the knowledge on night-time spaces to other urban contexts, usually considered as lifeless at night (Pinçon and Pinçon-Charlot, 2000). Yet the middle-sized cities are also concerned by an increasing number of night-time policies and activities for approximatly the last ten years. I will demonstrate that local authorities now play a key role in the production of night-time spaces in France, whereas their role was still marginal at the end of the XXth century. As they wish to develop the night-time economy while limiting the disturbances for the inhabitants, local authorities developed new policies that aim to both support and regulate the night-time activities like the “night life charters” or the nocturnal bus lines. Doing so, they also reinforce the role of the shopkeepers who act both as night-time activities suppliers and as public security and for maintaining a calm atmosphere. The observed evolutions of night-time spaces governance thereby (bay) contributed to modify the nocturnal geography and to narrow the public night-time spaces. 

Cite this blog post
Michael Spanu (2020, June 3). Seminario de investigación franco-mexicano « Etudes sur la nuit /Estudios sobre la noche » (3 de junio 2020). International Night Studies Network. Retrieved April 16, 2024, from

Michael Spanu

Michaël Spanu holds a PhD in sociology (Université de Lorraine, 2017) and is currently a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow at the University of Manchester (2022-2024). He is a former postdoctoral fellow at CISAN-UNAM.

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