Journal of Alpine Research / Revue de géographie alpine

Nights and Mountains. Preliminary Explorations of a Double Frontier

The night has long been a time-space marked by the low investment of human activity – a time of pausing, a « border », in the American sense of frontier, «a limit reached through the exploitation and advancement of colonizers looking to establish outposts in lands hitherto empty or sparsely populated” (Brunet, 1992). It has been a limit at which one encounters not one’s neighbours but the unknown – the mark, in other words, of a territory to be explored. Times have changed, however. Over the last twenty years, we may point to a colonization of the night by human activities. These movements of extension beyond the limits of the day (Gwiazdzinski, 2003 ; Crary, 2013), this nocturnalization (Koslowski, 2011) of society and diurnalization of the night are now well studied in relation to urban contexts, to the point at which one may now speak of the emergence of “Night Studies” in relation to urban contexts (Straw, 2017). The same changes are less examined outside of cities and, in parti...

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