Solarpunk Joy: Celebrating beyond Sorrow

deadline for submissions: 
March 5, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Heather O'Leary and Phoebe Wagner / MLA24
contact email: 

MLA 2024 SolarpunkCFP 

Philadelphia, PA January 4-7 

Panel Organizers 

Deadline for Abstracts 

Please email 250-word abstracts, with a 100-word bio, to the panel organizers by Sunday, March 5. 

Solarpunk Joy: Celebrating beyond Sorrow 

How do we overcome climate grief on the way to communal joy? Find comfort in a place of despair? Seeking papers on solarpunk celebration, especially through global, decolonial, abolitionist, Indigenous futures, Latinx/Chicanx, Black, queer lenses.   

What are we looking for? 

A solarpunk imagines new futures in the midst of and in opposition to environmental collapse, then works to create those futures. A solarpunk doesn’t just have ideas and beliefs; a solarpunk enacts. Solarpunk textsmight approach a problem with the following questions: How do my actions impact my human and nonhuman community? What intentionality fuels this issue? Does the following action dismantle a damaging system like capitalism? Does this action produce radical care of self and others? Does this action overcome the cultural desire to consume? 

Importantly, solarpunk is not centered on sustainability only but recognizes that environmental justice and social justice issues are entangled. There can be no solarpunk realization without anti-racist and decolonial actions.  

Submissions are welcome, but not limited to, addressing the following questions: 

  • How does joy create resistance in solarpunk texts? 

  • How do solarpunk texts address regional and global issues through hopeful action? 

  • As a global movement, how is solarpunk joy depicted in different cultures? 

  • How is solarpunk thinking depicted as a lifestyle in solarpunk texts and how might such a lifestyle respond to despair off the page? 

  • How is solarpunk in conversation with other future-thinking critical lenses, such as Afrofuturism, African Futurism, and Indigenous Futurism?  

  • How is hope depicted as action in solarpunk texts, or, how can joy be found in working through environmental collapse? 

Topics to consider: 

  • Celebration and joy 

  • Hope and desire 

  • Comfort and compassion  

  • Reimagining concepts of community 

  • Resilience 

  • Social capital and alternative economies 

  • Post-post-apocalypse 

  • Global depictions of joy, despair, and celebration from beyond a 'Western' lens 

More information on the 2024 MLA convention can be found on the MLA Presidential Theme website.