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Ateliers d’anthropologie is an online thematic journal with a review committee. Open to subjects focused on ethnographic studies combining theoretical innovations and precise observations, the journal publishes anthropology in the making. Since it is published online, it allows authors to include any supporting information and multimedia sources.

We publish one or two thematic issues per year, as well as publishing articles progressively under the Varia section of the journal.

Latest issue
48 | 2020
Alors vint la nuit…

Terrains, méthodes, perspectives
And then came the night…: field work, methods, perspectives
Edited by Aurore Monod Becquelin and Jacques Galinier
Couverture d'Ateliers d'anthropologie, 48|2020
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Over the past two decades, the seminar “Anthropology of Night” at the Laboratoire d’ethnologie et de sociologie comparative (Paris Nanterre University) has been setting itself the task of establishing night as a field of research in its own right, supported by numerous ethnographies on sites near and far, and approached in a multidisciplinary and comparative way at the scale of the social sciences. This issue of Ateliers d’anthropologie brings together a few recent contributions by researchers who were asked to examine and analyse the nights on their field work site: sites as distant as the Canadian Arctic and Mesoamerica, or nearby territories that provide material for historical research and for the sociology of contemporary life. But how is one to compare Inuit thought that weaves continuity between day and night, dark and light; the nocturnal life of women in a prison world; Mesoamerican nights populated by threatening entities; nights written with glyphs, and works staged in 17th-century theatres; starry skies revealed to their fervent enthusiasts while hidden from urbanites overexposed to light pollution?

The concept of nocturnity, used by historians of night, is a tool that enables us to analyse both the emic boundaries of night and day, and also all of the elements of night that penetrate diurnal mental life. The transition from a diurnal imagination towards a nocturnal world, “when night comes”, and vice versa, involves a gradual transformation of ontologies. This raises numerous questions about the notion of boundary: what is the nature of these status shifts by beings and objects that, depending on temporal and cultural context, may constitute phenomena of either connection and continuity, or change and rupture? How should this ethnography of “transition” be analysed—sometimes in terms of an opposition between complementary worlds breaking away from one another, sometimes marking a continuity through an explicit porosity, or even favouring ritually constructed intermediate space-times? Based on beliefs and cultural systems of night management, how can we understand the adjustments of what night transforms and what transforms night? Here we present new hypotheses about what makes it an actor in its own right, a “very special agent” at the intersection between political, economic and cultural dynamics shaped by a genuine “night thought”.

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