ICNS.LX 2023

We invite scholars, researchers, and practitioners from around the world to join us for the 4th International Conference on Night Studies, which will take place in Lisbon, from 11-13 October 2023.

The night offers unique opportunities and challenges for the use of private and public spaces. At night, the boundaries between these spaces can become blurred, with people seeking to socialize and engage in leisure activities both indoors and outdoors. At the same time, the night can also be a time of heightened risk and vulnerability, especially for marginalized and minority populations.

One of the key challenges in understanding the role of private and public space at night is the complex interplay between social norms and cultural values. For example, in some cultures, the night is associated with danger and risk, leading to greater regulation and surveillance of public spaces. In other cultures, the night is celebrated as a time of revelry and social interaction, leading to more permissive attitudes towards public gatherings and leisure activities.

The impact of nighttime activities on private and public space can also be significant. In private spaces, the use of light and sound can have a profound effect on the quality of life for individuals and communities. For example, noise from nearby nightclubs or bars can disrupt the sleep of residents, leading to stress and health problems. In public spaces, the impact of nighttime activities can be felt in terms of safety and security, with concerns about crime, violence, and harassment.

Design and planning of private and public spaces can play an important role in promoting safe and enjoyable nighttime experiences. This includes considerations such as lighting, sound insulation, and the provision of public amenities and services. The use of technology and smart city initiatives can also be effective in promoting safe and inclusive nighttime experiences.

The study of private and public space at night offers a rich and complex area of inquiry, highlighting the importance of considering the multiple factors that shape nighttime experiences. By understanding the social, cultural, and physical dynamics of the night, we can work towards a more sustainable and equitable approaches to urban development, promoting healthy and inclusive communities that thrive both day and night.

We welcome papers from a variety of disciplines, including but not limited to sociology, anthropology, urban studies, cultural studies, geography, history,  gender studies, psychology and architecture.

Possible topics of interest include:

  • Private and public space and the regulation of nighttime leisure activities
  • Nighttime activities on public and private spaces, including issues related to safety, health, well-being and sexuality
  • The role of sensory experiences (e.g. lighting, sound, smell) in shaping nighttime environments and experiences
  • The cultural and social norms that influence the use and interpretation of public and private spaces at night
  • The design and planning of public and private spaces to enhance nighttime experiences and promote sustainable, equitable, and inclusive urban development
  • Public and private spaces in media, cinema and other arts


  • 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


The 4th 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.Lx_4 will be held in hybrid mode (on-site in Lisbon at NOVA University Lisbon – Campolide Campus, and online) from Oct 11th to Oct 13th, 2023.

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), the Institute of Sociology – University of Porto (ISUP).