Miring Grounds


  • Louisa King
  • Therese Keogh


swamps, grounds, geographies, toxicity, fictions, epistolory


Through the presence of an unstable earth, swampy sites disturb land-water binaries while also creating imaginaries that offer an otherwise to colonial fictions of territory. Representations of swamps tend toward the wasted, the toxic and the untamed. Swamps are sites of alternative temporal configurations of muddy-matter that persist throughout histories of resource extraction, management, draining, and burying. The specific spatialities of swamps create the conditions for an emergence of material and imaged fictions. Drawing on thinking from feminist geophilosophy on permeability and saturation, queer materialist understandings of toxicity, along with contemporary critiques on the myths of colonial representations of land, this text explores cultural figurings of muddy grounds to posit swamps as producers of both material and representational imaginaries. ‘Miring Grounds’ engages material porosity and speculative image-reading to frame swamps as sites of marshy resistance that enfold their own representational logics into unique material and ecological compositions of ground.