Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Analysis

Second Department


Reader 1

Susan Phillips

Reader 2

Phyllis J. Jackson

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© 2022 Olivia C Meehan


This paper accompanies my senior art exhibition Picturing the Colonial Trace. Pulling from a wide range of interdisciplinary scholars, I theorize the practice of critical white auto-ethnography through visual interrogations of family heirlooms. The heirloom as evidence holds within its form a colonial trace. I investigate this trace through my creative practice, revealing the environmental, economic, and interpersonal histories of the British colonization of the Indian subcontinent. My art disrupts my family’s narrative of a benevolent British Empire and redirects attention to the silences of my family archive. This thesis proposes a potential model for white scholars of Environmental Analysis to conjoin the study of the environment with the critical study of the self.