I watched solarpunk take off first as an aesthetic, then an ideology and a genre, on Tumblr from about 2014-onwards. During that time, I was in graduate school, first as a masters and then a PhD student in English literature, studying science fiction. The emergence of a new genre was fascinating to me, and its burgeoning seemed to me, the more I researched the history of SF, to parallel in part the deliberate construction of the cyberpunk genre in the mid-1980s as a movement by SF authors and for SF authors.
I wrote on solarpunk as a genre mitigation for anthropocenic burnout in The Goose, an academic journal of ecocritism, in 2018, and have since spoken on it in several academic and non-academic venues.
From 2021-2022 I was one of the initial team of editors at Solarpunk Magazine, co-editing the non-fiction section, and though I am no longer with the magazine, I co-host the Solarpunk Presents podcast, which started as a sub-show of the magazine’s Solarpunk Futures podcast, but quickly became its own thing.
My thinking about the genre is influenced in no small part by Sarena Ulibarri, Jay Springett, and Rhys Williams, the latter of which brought the genre to academia in a way that interests me greatly. Solarpunk-adjacent academic thought I am influenced by includes (but is not limited to) work by Val Plumwood, José Esteban Muñoz, Stacy Alaimo, Kim Tallbear, Rosi Braidotti, Donna Haraway, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and Hannah MacGregor, as well as the work of both the Petrocultures Research Group and Just Powers.
I know enough about solarpunk to know that I am not an expert on solarpunk, nor can one person think all of the solarpunk thoughts or do all of the solarpunk things. It is something I am very familiar with, but I do not own.
If you are working on a project that has to do with solarpunk, I would be very interested in hearing all about it.