170.039 (21S) Nocturnal Visions and Reflections: Urban Nightscape in the 20th and 21st Century

Sommersemester 2021

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Erster Termin der LV
18.03.2021 13:00 - 16:00 online Off Campus
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LV-Titel englisch
Nocturnal Visions and Reflections: Urban Nightscape in the 20th and 21st Century
Seminar (prüfungsimmanente LV )
4 (35 max.)
zum Moodle-Kurs

Zeit und Ort

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Intendierte Lernergebnisse

Through a set of chosen topics, the course will explore visual aspects of the urban night as it is experienced by city people – rooting this exploration in the up-and-coming interdisciplinary field of ‘night studies’. Looking at the nocturnal visions/reflections, the course focuses on questions such as: what can be seen in the city ‘after dark’, what makes the night in the city visible, and how and by whom is all this documented and imagined across different visual media. In the introductory classes, students will be familiarized with key concepts of ‘night studies’ such as colonization of the night, night as frontier or nocturnal people & spaces. We will proceed to explore the manner in which these were treated by and reflected in various visual media. Emphasis will be placed on forms that have participated in transformation of urban life since the beginning of the 20th century, from architectural and light design, photography, cinema, comics and visual arts. While identifying methods, styles and aesthetics used in the nocturnal urban visualisations, the course is structured topically, capturing each visual aspect of the night individually, such as nocturnal subcultures & spaces, vices and pleasures, dystopias and sounds... Should the pandemic situation allow, final two classes would be reserved for a field excursion/visual exploration  of the Klagenfurt night.


Straw, Will. “Media and the Urban Night,” Articulo. Journal of Urban Research 11 (2015).

Shaw, Robert: “Aesthetics of the Night-Time City” in The Nocturnal City (London: Routledge, 2018): 83-96.

McQuire, Scott. “Electropolis. The Media City” in The Media City. Media, Architecture and Urban Space (London: Sage, 2008): 113-129.

Gallais, Jean-Marie. “Night moves. Artists’ Fascination for Modern Night” in In the Spotlight of the Night (Köln: Wienand Verlag, 2019): 96-105.

Keimig, Lance. “History of Night Photography” in Night Photography: Finding Your Way in the Dark, (Oxford: Focal Press, 2010): 7-29.

Mennel, Barbara. “The Dark City and Film Noir: Los Angeles” in Cities and Cinema (London: Routledge, 2008): 46-59.

Kreis, M., eds. Night Fever: Designing Club Culture (1960–Today) (Weil am Rhein: Vitra Design Museum, 2018).

Few examples of the visual media:

Brassaï. Paris de Nuit (1932)  &   Weegee. Naked City (1945)

Edward Hopper : Nighthakws (1942)

Taxi Driver (M.Scorsese, 1976)  

Blade Runner (R.Scott, 1982)

Night on Earth (J.Jarmusch, 1991) 

Enter the Void (G.Noé, 2009)



Student assignments will be discussed in the introductory class. Course readings and visual material will be handed out at the beginning of the course. Students are expected to read one text per class, while each student will make one 15 min presentation based on the assigned readings (max. two texts). For some classes students will be given a film to watch ahead of the class. In addition, by the end of the course students will be asked to informally present/analyse their favourite night film/scene/image(s). At the end, each student is expected to write term paper, on the chosen topic suggested by the student and accepted by the instructor, linked to the themes of the course. Grading will be based on the class participation (in-class comments, presentation) and the term paper.


Note Benotungsschema

Position im Curriculum

  • Bachelorstudium Anglistik und Amerikanistik (SKZ: 612, Version: 15W.2)
    • Fach: Freie Wahlfächer (Freifach)
      • Freie Wahlfächer ( 0.0h XX / 20.0 ECTS)
        • 170.039 Nocturnal Visions and Reflections: Urban Nightscape in the 20th and 21st Century (2.0h SE / 6.0 ECTS)
          Absolvierung im 1., 2., 3., 4., 5., 6. Semester empfohlen
  • Masterstudium Visuelle Kultur (SKZ: 655, Version: 18W.1)
    • Fach: Cultural Studies und Visuelle Medien (Wahlfach)
      • 12 Cultural Studies und Visuelle Medien ( 0.0h VO, SE, PM, VC, PS, KS, UE / 12.0 ECTS)
        • 170.039 Nocturnal Visions and Reflections: Urban Nightscape in the 20th and 21st Century (2.0h SE / 6.0 ECTS)

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