Relating to Nature

Relating to Nature: Alternative Approaches and Solutions to the Transgression of Planetary Boundaries



Anna Wienhues (University of Manchester)



This workshop focuses on the human-nature relationship. More specifically, the focus lies on alternative approaches towards or perspectives on this relationship in the light of the ecological crisis and how these can lead to alternative solutions.

The workshop is envisages as an opportunity for participants to think together and generate new questions/ solutions, and has a two-fold aim. Firstly, the idea is to bring theorists from different angles in environmental philosophy/ environmental political theory in conversation with one another. The purpose of this assembly would be to create a platform for discussion of the essence of the human-nature relationship to challenge both anthropocentric and non-anthropocentric worldviews.

The second objective is offer a space for discussion outside of the mainstream environmental political theory discourses that focus heavily on climate change as the main problem facing lifeforms/humanity today (e.g. debates on climate justice) or environmental human rights.

Under this heading presentations could focus on (but do not have to be limited to) any of the following topics:

  • Justice and nature: expanding the moral circle, widening and recasting  the meaning of justice
  • Challenging worldviews: visions that reject consumerist attitudes/individualistic perspectives towards nature calling into question humanity’s argued place as the Earth’s steward, engineer or manager
  • Green virtue ethics: an alternative to mainstream deontological and consequential understandings of humanity’s moral relationship with nature
  • Alternative ‘imaginaries’: other approaches to describing humanity’s relationship with nonhuman nature
  • Specific environmental issues: addressing very pressing, but less widely understood environmental problems such as biodiversity loss or the changes in the biogeochemical cycles of nitrogen and phosphorus


We plan to have two to three sessions where people can present their papers (including Q & A) and a final session that is dedicated to a round table discussion. Depending on the papers that will be submitted for this workshop we will set an ‘agenda’ for discussion based on the main areas of contention. This agenda will be circulated to the participants before the workshop to allow participants to prepare a short statement piece or the like on these issues.


Deadline for application: 1st June 2017

Please send paper abstracts (about 150 to 400 words) to

We will notify the applicants by 8th of June whether their abstract has been accepted. We aim to notify early applications prior to that date.

Deadline for bursary applications (available to current graduate students/retirees only) is the 16th June. These applications have to be made to the conference organisers at

Registration will open in May. This year’s fees are £230.00 for academics and £135.00 for graduate students and retirees.