Would we know solarity if we encountered it? And where do we look for the potential openings that such a new energy system could enable? Georges Bataille’s The Accursed Share has emerged as a key text in the theorization of energy because of his distinction between the restricted economy of capitalism versus a general economy most clearly figured by the energetic exuberance and abundance of the sun. This article makes use of Bataille’s deliberately unsettling and destabilizing fictions, such as “The Solar Anus” and Story of the Eye, to analyze and assess a set of practices that appear to be unlikely candidates for the utopian visions now predictably connected with the solar. When read in relation to Luce Irigaray’s account of female subjectivity, practices of entrepreneurial feminized self-care, exemplified here by Gwyneth Paltrow’s much-criticized Goop Lab, open up a distinct and unexplored sense of the social relations that could shape the concatenation of solar and solidarity called solarity. This article traces this potential through an enquiry into feminist popular culture and other modes of relationality, such as Sivanandha Radha’s yogic invocation of Light. The overall aim of the essay is to provide another way of mapping solarity—not through the materiality of solar panels and promise of free energy, but through the complex practices of feminized bodies, solace, and solidarity.
Solar Goop: Energy Futures and Feminist Self-Care
Eva-Lynn Jagoe is an associate professor of comparative literature and Latin American studies at the University of Toronto. Her most recent book, Take Her, She’s Yours (2020), explores theoretical notions of psychoanalysis, subjectivity and feminism through an experiential first-person narrative.
Eva-Lynn Jagoe; Solar Goop: Energy Futures and Feminist Self-Care. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 January 2021; 120 (1): 39–50. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-8795694
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