Herbaceous Traces: A History of Agri/cultural Sinuosities





In this piece, I follow the geo-temporal meanderings of native grasses (in particular yam daisy-Microseris lanceolate and native millet-Panicum decompositum) through the Australian colonial record and beyond to reveal co-constitutive entanglements which bear witness to a plurality of agri/cultural narratives. In particular, I draw on the concept of trace as theorised by philosophers Jacques Derrida and Édouard Glissant to explore and produce aesthetic interventions which reveal, shape, coerce and/or support these grasses’ presence and agency—their voices. Scattered through geo-temporalities and media, these interventions document—trace—native grasses’ historical experiences and the role(s) awarded to them. Their punctual nature accounts/allows for ruptures, disruptions and (dis)continuity: each intervention carries its own rhythms of the collision between past and future in its midst. This fragmentary state also supports the fluid positioning of voices—the crafting of a textual space where poetics become a tool of decoloniality. Such a juxtaposition of perspectives and representational practices aim to generate intertwining accounts of vegetal being-in-the-world. More precisely, it aims to provide new insights into how native grasses have shaped and been shaped by colonial and decolonial practices—to illuminate their sinuous trajectories with(in) the fabric of the land.

Author Biography

Camille Roulière, University of Adelaide

Dr Camille Roulière is an early career researcher whose work explores how humans engage and interact with their environments through art. In 2018, she was awarded a University Doctoral Research Medal for her PhD thesis entitled “Visions of Water” (The University of Adelaide). Camille also works creatively with a variety of materials, from words and musical notes, through to glass, metal and acrylics. Most notably, her work has been published in Southerly, Cordite Scholarly, Art + Australia, Meanjin and an anthology within Routledge’s Environmental Humanities series. She is currently co-editing a collection for Routledge (with Claudia Egerer, from Stockholm University) and has pieces forthcoming with Shima, The Saltbush Review and Wonderground.


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How to Cite

Roulière, C. (2021). Herbaceous Traces: A History of Agri/cultural Sinuosities. Performance Philosophy, 6(2), 39–60. https://doi.org/10.21476/PP.2021.62321