Share

cover art for Reframing Narratives With Ecocriticism, With Dr Jenny Kerber

Solarpunk Presents

Reframing Narratives With Ecocriticism, With Dr Jenny Kerber

Season 2, Ep. 9

In this episode, Ariel discusses the topic of ecocriticism with Dr Jenny Kerber, Associate Professor of English at Wilfrid Laurier University.


What is ecocriticism? Why is it important, especially for environmental activists and solarpunks, as a narrative reframing device? Solarpunks work very closely with speculation and imagination and as architects of the narratives by which we live our lives, it helps to have tools like ecocriticism at our disposal.

 

Join Ariel and Dr. Kerber to think through terms like “wilderness” and “nature” and “the Anthropocene”. How do we hold on to hope, despite critical engagement with the dark side of our environmental narratives? 

 

References:

●     A bit more about the WLU Land Acknowledgement

●     Dr Kerber’s profile at Wilfrid Laurier U

●     “The Trouble with Wilderness” by William Cronon

●     Elizabeth May

●     Kerber, Jenny. "Tracing One Warm Line: Climate Stories and Silences in Northwest Passage Tourism." Journal of Canadian Studies 55.4 (July 2022): 271-303.

●     Timothy Clark, The Cambridge Introduction to Literature and the Environment

●     Kate Soper, What is Nature? Culture, Politics and the Non-Human

●     David Huebert's Chemical Valley

●     Lord Byron's "Darkness"

●     Don McKay, Vis à Vis: Field Notes on Poetry and Wilderness

●     Amitav Ghosh, The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable

●     Nicole Seymour, Bad Environmentalism: Irony and Irreverence in the Ecological Age

●     Phoebe Wagner and Brontë Christopher Wieland, Almanac for the Anthropocene: A Compendium of Solarpunk Futures


 

More episodes

View all episodes

  • 8. Easing the Housing Crisis By Saying Yes, in My Backyard

    39:42
    You’ve heard of NIMBYs and NIMBYism, and you probably are living with the consequences of neighbourhood planning or city policies influenced by landowners who say “Not in My Backyard” to new developments planned in their area. But what about YIMBYs? The name might be strange, but the homeowners who make up these groups say “Yes In My Backyard” to normalize the goals of affordable housing advocates, transit planning, tenants’ rights organizations and others who are working towards making the city a more liveable place to be for everyone. Today on the podcast, Ariel talks to Melissa Bowman, cofounder of the group Waterloo Region Yes In My Backyard (WRYIMBY) about what a YIMBY group is, what some actions are that it might take, the issues that it might address, and how to start up a YIMBY group in your area, if there’s not one already!
  • 7. Creating Community While Regenerating Soil, with Nick Schwanz of Solarpunk Farms

    49:03
    Taking action on their solarpunk dreams, Nick Schwanz and Spencer Scott bought a degraded agricultural plot and have been turning it into a food forest, an explosion of flowers, and a demonstration of regenerative farming that brings the local community together and creates a network of prosperity and opportunities for other farmers, creatives, and makers. Join us as we talk soils, how their project is going, and what they mean by their intention to queer the agricultural endeavor. For all the fun and their latest news, follow Solarpunk Farms on their Instagram @solarpunkfarms.
  • 6. On Solarpunk Spirituality (& Humanity's Intangible Squishy Bits) with Navarre Bartz

    39:20
    Today Ariel sits down with Navarre Bartz to talk about solarpunk spirituality. Solarpunk’s emphasis on respecting and valuing human and non-human life includes the totality of a being’s existence, and that includes the “squishy bits” of the experience that we can’t quite quantify. Navarre recently hosted a series of guest posts on his blog, Solarpunk Station, all about the spiritual angle of solarpunk, and what a solarpunk style of spirituality might look like.Read more:Solarpunk Station Episode 1.1 “Must Solarpunk Should?”artisans.coop Etsy alternative!Support Solarpunk Presents on Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/solarpunkpresents
  • 5. Scientists Tell Stories Too (and That's a Good Thing), with Prof. Jenni Barclay

    42:31
    In this episode, Prof. Jenni Barclay explains the importance of storytelling by scientists to themselves, other scientists, and the general public. Has that got you thinking, hey, wait, WHAT?! Everyone knows that scientists should never tell stories! If we expect them to show up like Back off man, I’m a scientist! and guide us through difficulties, then they’d best stick strictly and dryly to the facts, because everyone knows that scientists should never tell stories, right? But scientists even need to tell stories to themselves and to each other to more effectively process the information contained in their data, observations, and experiences. Human beings are not computers: we need stories to grasp the meanings of things, and that also goes for scientific facts. This means scientists need to be storytellers, too, if they want people to understand not just what the facts are, but what they mean for society and the world at large. Then people would better be able to see what our options are for responding to environmental and technological developments and emergencies. Learn more about Jenni and her research on volcanoes and scientists here https://research-portal.uea.ac.uk/en/persons/jenni-barclay or follow her on social media at @volcanojenni on xitter and bluesky.Support Solarpunk Presents on Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/solarpunkpresents
  • 4. Perfect Storm: Roleplaying Your Way Into Understanding the Forces For and Against Climate Action, With Dr. Sourayan Mookerjea

    32:55
    On today’s episode, we’re talking about board games! Ariel interviews Dr Sourayan Mookerjea, Professor of sociology at University of Alberta, about the game “Perfect Storm”, which he uses in his classes and beyond to teach players about the complexities of a sustainable energy transition in the province of Alberta, and Canada more widely. We talk about the different meanings of “energy”, green capitalism, degrowth, decommodifying housing, and more!Links:Dr Mookerjea’s profile at U of A“Perfect Storm” description via Just Powers
  • 3. The Radical Democratizing Power of a Better Way to Make Things, With Sarah Hutton

    40:01
    Have the inhumanity and environmental destructiveness of global supply chains got you down? What about the rapaciousness of multinational corporations who have twisted globalization into a nightmare for so many people on Earth? Here’s one thing you can do about it: you can support the growing movement known as distributed production. In Episode 3 of Season 4, researcher Sarah Hutton of the Internet of Production Alliance explains what distributed production is, why it’s all about people power, and exactly why it is a completely radical and powerfully democratizing activity that is also better for local jobs, local communities, and the environment. Join the Internet of Production Alliance’s Community Forum at https://community.internetofproduction.org/Support Solarpunk Presents on Patreon or make a one-time donation via PayPal.
  • 2. Solarpunk Considers Cohousing, With Hermina Joldersma

    42:06
    In this episode, Ariel talks to Hermina Joldersma, professor emerita at University of Calgary, about alternative housing arrangements, focusing on co-housing. They discuss not only Hermina’s experiences living in different types of housing, but the mindset necessary to co-housing and communal life, and the way that community often has to be intentionally created. Tune in now!Links:Hermina Joldersma’s profile page at University of CalgaryHermina Joldersma at Fibre Art NetworkUrban Green CohousingCBC article on Urban Green and co-housing in CanadaCoHo BC official websiteSupport Solarpunk Presents on Patreon or make a one-time donation via PayPal.
  • 1. Solarpunking Housing, With Ariel & Christina

    36:28
    In this kick-off of Season 4, Ariel and Christina tackle the topic of housing. It is one of the central imaginings of solarpunk, after all. And it’s something we’re not doing very well in the present. How could solarpunk expand its dreams of housing beyond the aesthetic and into the realm of the practical? Can solarpunk envision not just greenery and solar-panel-draped dwellings, but housing that would meet people’s needs, not just for shelter, but comfort, mental health, emotional and physical support, ease of access, friendship and community, and culture, while also being affordable to everyone, energy efficient, and not contributing to urban sprawl? It seems like a tall order, but we want to make it a present reality. Tune in as we discuss!
  • 10. How to Change Cultural Norms: Ariel and Christina Discuss

    46:57
    Solarpunk’s envisioning of a future that we’d like to live in isn’t just about providing a vision for us to aim for, it’s also about changing cultural norms in the present so that we can actually get to that future. Solarpunk storytelling is in no small part about normalizing the things we want to support and develop, such as sustainability, wild and productive gardens, social justice, and cohesive, supportive communities. On the flip side, solarpunk strives to make taboo or erase completely the attitudes and entire industries that are anti-human and anti-planet; we’re thinking about racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, misogyny, fossil fuels, petrochemical pesticides, overly industrialized agriculture, etc. But, aside from storytelling, how do we change the norms of the cultures that we’re living in at all, much less to be more in line with a solarpunk ethos? Is there a secret sauce that works every time? And if we knew the answer, would we be even having this conversation in the first place? Tune in as we discuss.Links:Flying pumpkin wear your seatbelt adArticle on Swiss behaviour changes due to Fridays for Future