Challenging Solarpunk’s Technophilia through Degrowth Imaginaries in Julia K. Patt’s “Caught Root” and Linda Jordan’s “Reclaiming”
Keywords:Solarpunk, degrowth, techno-optimism, environmental humanities, Linda Jordan, Julia K. Patt
Although still in its infancy, the sci-fi subgenre of Solarpunk has become a popular aesthetical mode in today’s literary field, with an already extensive corpus of short-story collections published during the late 2010s and early 2020s. These narratives tend to explore postgrowth imaginaries through a technophilic lens, thus depicting the idea of possible futures in which high-technology and industrial development can become environmentally sustainable. Against these logics of techno-optimism, some literary pieces subvert the hegemonic conceptualization of the Solarpunk imagination, representing degrowth societies that highlight the idealization of greenified techno-futures. This article first introduces the notion of Solarpunk and briefly analyzes it through the lens of degrowth theory. After that, it explores two short stories, Julia K. Patt’s “Caught Root” (2018) and Linda Jordan’s “Reclaiming”(2021) to show the way in which both of them create alternative low-tech futures neighboring Solarpunk spaces. The text focuses on how both author’s narratives not only criticize Solarpunk’s mainstream assumptions but also how they create alternative spaces following degrowth rationalizations that solve possible ecological and social issues should Solarpunk techno-optimism succeed after the alleged fall of capitalism.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Alejandro Rivero-Vadillo
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