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Inna Häkkinen

Inna Häkkinen

Title: Situating “Care” within Permaculture Ethics in Energy Storytelling: Literary Imaginaries

Abstract: Studying the narrative toolkit of conceptualizing ‘care’ within energy storytelling appeals to the literary imaginaries of profiling ‘permaculture’(’a set of gardening techniques and a whole design philosophy, the creation of human systems which provide for human needs, but using many natural elements and drawing inspiration from natural ecosystems’, Chapman, 2015) in energy storytelling, which helps distinguishing the set of components of applying the permaculture ethics and its principles (earth care, people care, future care) for weakening ‘survival’ rhetoric of the ‘tierratrauma’ (Albrecht, 2017) experienced communities and strengthening ‘resilience/cure/healing’ motifs as a result of critical thinking on ‘sustainable energy’ agenda. The presentation intends to study the literary imaginaries of ‘care’ narratives in depicting the components of permaculture ethics in the context of physical/spiritual survival within the tierratraumatic locality which facilitates a discussion on the literary perspective on implementing permaculture ethics in ‘nuke’ agriculture as a component of food access and food consumption in the context of fictionalizing a nuclear disaster and its aftermath. Such debates enhance to communicate permaculture ethical principles (having ‘care’ as a basic concept) for narrating the transformations of the value paradigm of the ‘tierratrauma/eutierria’ experienced community.

The presentation aims to show the literary dimensions of profiling ‘care’ within ‘resilience’ narrative  in the context of situating permaculture and its ethical principles in post-Chornobyl U.S. nuclear fictional writings – such as Karen Hesse’s Phoenix Rising (1994), Andrea White’s Radiant Girl (2008), Anna Blankman’s The Blackbird Girls (2020) – where critical thinking perspective on agricultural activities and technics contributes to narrating ‘care’ within debating nuclear energy related issues in fictional writings. This approach helps distinguishing the literary parameters of fictionalizing ‘care’ under permaculture ethics’ umbrella within communicating a tierratraumatic experience from intermedial ecocriticism’s perspective (Bruhn, 2020) as well as environmental hermeneutics (van Buren 1995; Drenthen 2017).

Based on Nixon’s Slow Violence (2011), Morton’s Dark Ecology (2016), Maunch’s Slow Hope (2018) etc, such narrative analysis of articulating ‘care’ as a dominating concept of permaculture ethics in the context of profiling agricultural activities in the radiation contaminated area in these novels not only frame nuclear fiction as an archive for further developing nuclear critical thinking skills on survival activities but also contributes to revealing the narrative toolkit of framing the literary dimensions of ‘resilience’ culture within a post-traumatic experience.

Bio: Inna Häkkinen is a visiting researcher of Helsinki Environmental Humanities Hub (the University of Helsinki) and a research fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies Köszeg (Hungary). Her current project is focused on researching the literary dimensions of nuclear energy within energy literary narrative studies. She (co-)teaches ‘Chornobyl Studies’ course at the University of Helsinki (Aleksanteri Institute). After defending her PhD in Literary Studies (Dnipro, Ukraine), she has been a research fellow of Erasmus Mundus mobility programmes (Bologna, 2008; Turku, 2011-2012), Cambridge Colleges Hospitality Scheme (2013), SUSI (Ohio, 2016), Open Society Foundation/Artes Liberales Foundation (Warsaw, 2016-2017), JYU Visiting Fellowship Programme (Jyväskylä, 2021), PIASt Fellowship Programme (Warsaw, 2022). She is among the contributors of The Routledge Handbook of Ecocriticism and Environmental Communication (2019). Her general research interests lie within environmental humanities, energy humanities, ecocriticism, nuclear criticism, literary energy narrative studies, world energy literature, nuclear fiction, Chornobyl fiction, energy ethics. She is a member of HELSUS (Finland), the Finnish Society for Development Research (Finland), and Nordic Association for American Studies (NAAS).