We are deeply grateful to welcome Dr. Mihnea Tănăsescu for the opening lecture of our Future Ecologies programme. Dr. Tănăsescu’s learned and widely-inspired proposition for an epistemology, ethics and political philosophy of mutualism invites – and challenges – us towards voluminous, vulnerable, reciprocal, responsible, ritualised and eclectic practices of existing in the Ecocene. The Ecocene is a new temporal epoch, characterised by the increasingly frequent intrusion of ecological processes into political life. In Dr. Tănăsescu’s words: “Mutualist futures are possible; they have begun, through the systematic renovation of the forgotten inheritance that ties everyone fundamentally to their world.” (Ecocene Politics, 2022).
• Dr. Mihnea Tănăsescu holds a BA in Human Ecology (2006) from College of the Atlantic, Maine, USA and an MA (2009) in Continental Philosophy from the New School for Social Research, New York. He obtained his PhD in political science from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (2013), with a dissertation focusing on the relationship between representation and rights for nature in the 2008 Ecuadorian constitution. His current research continues the elaboration of the concept of political representation and is extending into the politics of ecological restoration. His main interests are the politics of nature, environmental ethics, the political representation of non-humans, restoration ethics, rewilding and environmental policy. His most recent books (2022) are Understanding the Rights of Nature and Ecocene Politics.