UCL Urban Laboratory


CfP ‘Night Stories: Urban Narratives of Migrant Lives in Europe’

14 October 2020

As part of our transnational NITE research project, a call for papers has been launched for a special issue of 'Crossings: Journal of Migration & Culture', edited by Sara Brandellero, Ailbhe Kenny and Derek Pardue.

Nights in transit by JM Alkmim

Submissions are invited for this forthcoming special issue on Night Stories: Urban Narratives of Migrant Lives in Europe, centring on the life experiences of migrant subjectivities and communities in European cities at night, edited by the NITE research team. Articles will cover a range of genres across different arts and cultural practices (literature, film, music, photography, theatre, advertising, social media, radio, visual arts etc.). 

We invite articles that provide close analyses of cultural representations of night-time settings and narratives that stem from spatial practices at night, including, for example, night-time migrant mobilities and the implications of questions of class, race and ethnicity, gender and age in determining who can go where and when. 

Acknowledging the attention given to ‘urban imaginaries’ (Lefebvre, 1974) in the humanities and social sciences, this publication aims to bring the question of night-time imaginaries productively into current debates on urban spaces and migration. It will focus on nocturnal spaces as potential for or existing sites of belonging and intercultural exchange. Important cultural and social insights can be drawn from understanding how and where city spaces are experienced at night, also mindful of the impact of the current Covid-19 crisis on night-time venues and events. Thus, it seeks to understand the role of stories in giving form to and impacting on how night spaces are imagined, produced and experienced by migrant communities in Europe. 

Topics might include:

  • Representation of night spaces and experiences of migration in literature and film;
  • Migrant music-making, soundscapes and place-making at night;
  • Migrant life-writing and (audio)-visual documenting;
  • Migrant creative writings of the night;
  • Virtual night spaces and migrant cultures in times of Covid-19;
  • Narratives of gender, race, class and migration in European cities at night;
  • Narratives of arrival, belonging, departure;
  • Questioning migrant ‘integration’ in narratives of the night;
  • Narratives of migrant night labour;
  • Night spaces, crisis and regeneration among migrant communities

Styleguide: see https://www.intellectbooks.com/journal-editors-and-contributors

Articles should be between 6000-8000 words in length. 

Images must be of at least 300dpi. Images and written text should be sent in separate attachments. 

NB: Articles may embed audio and video recordings (these must be hosted online by the authors). Articles must be of 10Mb max and be anonymised for peer review. Include an additional file with: Title; Author name/affiliation, email; author bio-sketch 50-100 words; Orcid; abstract of 100-200 words; 6-8 keywords. Endnotes instead of footnotes.

Submissions and queries addressed to the editors: nitecrossings@gmail.com

The special issue of Crossings: Journal of Migration & Culture is scheduled for 2022.

Image: Nights in transit by JM Alkmim