The disenchanted missionary : unraveling the colonial fantasies of Whitman College
May 10, 2016
Department or Program
Drawing on insights from indigenous politics and theories on settler-colonialism, this thesis retraces the early history of Whitman College and interrogates those myths and fantasies which function at the heart of the Whitman community's self-understanding. Non-theoretical sources include records and primary sources from the Whitman College and Northwest Archives as well as accounts recently published by members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR). This thesis argues that the Whitman College identity is fabricated through a series of myths and colonial fantasies, manifested in the physical composition of the campus, the Whitman imaginary, and this community's daily practices. It also argues that white supremacy persists as a fundamental component of these fantasies, dictating not only this community's acknowledgement and understanding of race, but also various efforts to shield this community from confronting the terms of its very existence.