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Dark Feelings: Atmospheres and Emotions in the Nocturnal City

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPublic Lecture/ Debate/Seminar


After dark, the city changes palpably. Our visual perception may become less reliable than in the daytime, yet our other senses can be heightened. The urban night has long been associated with acts of transgression, illicit encounter, and as an arena for excess. The nocturnal city, however, also offers a wider array of atmospheres than those bound up in the nighttime economy. Our experiences of urban places after dark can bring forth new sensitisations and apprehensions. Familiar streets and parts of the city we encounter during the day can be transformed and suddenly may appear to have distinct characteristics at night. The boundaries between the real and imaginary, and indeed the body and landscape, can be less certain. Drawing on the practice of nightwalking in Manchester, UK, this talk will explore the potential of the nocturnal city to recalibrate our emotions in urban places and as a form of sense making. It will examine the use of autoethnography as a way to map the ongoing entanglements between space and emotion, city and memory, time and materiality, writing and place.

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Event (Seminar)

TitleElastiCities - Emotions and the City
LocationBrasenose College, The University of Oxford
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Degree of recognitionInternational event