Night Stories: Urban Narratives of Migrant Lives in Europe

Crossings: Journal of Migration & Culture

Special Issue on Night Stories: Urban Narratives of Migrant Lives in Europe

Edited by Sara Brandellero, Ailbhe Kenny and Derek Pardue Deadline: 31 March 2021,

Submissions are invited for this forthcoming special issue on Night Stories: Urban Narratives of Migrant Lives in Europe, centering on the life experiences of migrant

subjectivities and communities in European cities at night. 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.

The special issue aims to contribute to the emerging field of ‘night studies’, calibrating it in relation to migration. The night affords, we argue, special social affinities that thus lead to particular activities and engagements with the city. Just as we feel compelled to relate our experiences of the night in story, song and image, as scholars, we are motivated to find a more representative theoretical idiom to escape the diurnal mode of thinking (Fabian 1983; Tedlock 1991). Therefore, the urban narratives in this special issue aim to capture the phenomenologies of everynight life.

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

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.

This publication is part of a European-wide collaborative project  (NITE), funded by the Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA), with support from the European Commission. Info:

Submissions and queries addressed to the editors: The special issue is scheduled for 2022.