The question of whitewashing in American history and social science

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


When one considers how insidious and overwhelming the language of conquest (i.e., cultural hegemony focused on anti-Indianism) has been in academic publications, school curriculum, media, and institutions, and how intensely it has dismissed or disparaged authentic Indigenous voices, perspectives, and contributions, one must consider the ways in which such hegemony stems from the consciousness of the dominant social classes, as well as the degree to which it is intentional. In this chapter, David Gibbs extends Devon Mihesuah's specific argument about the hegemony that exists within universities' Native Studies programs by revealing the close connections between the U.S. intelligence services and academia since 1945. This chapter will not focus on anti-Indigenous hegemony per se, but will instead serve as a case study in how academia has been and continues to be co-opted to serve the interests of the powerful. Consider, for instance, a report I received moments ago about a respected and popular professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who was fi red after he published a scientific paper regarding the uncontrolled contamination of irreplaceable native Mexican corn varieties by genetically engineered corn. Dr. Ignacio Chapela, whose article was published in the science journal Nature, was denied tenure due to pressure from the biotech company Monsanto, in spite of almost unanimous approval (32 to 1) of his department members and tenure recommendations from his department chair and the dean of the College of Natural Resources.1 This is only one of a growing number of such cases across the country where universities pressure faculty to tow the progovernment, procorporate, promilitary agenda, and Dr. Gibb's illuminating piece helps us understand how this can be happening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationUnlearning the Language of Conquest
Subtitle of host publicationScholars Expose Anti-Indianism in America
PublisherUniversity of Texas Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9780292706545
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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