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Jason Higgins

Ph.D. Student

I am a Ph.D. student of U.S. and global history, working with Christian Appy and focusing on the history of modern war and its effects on society. I also work with Sam Redman in UMass Oral History Lab, conducting an oral history project with incarcerated veterans of the American War in Vietnam. I am pursuing a certificate in public history, with a focus on oral history.

I earned my Master of Arts in English from Oklahoma State University and my Bachelor of Arts in history and English from University of Arkansas at Monticello.

My interests include the following:  social and cultural history of modern war; collective trauma and state violence; disability and trauma narratives; oral history and autobiography; and Civil Rights and mass incarceration.

My dissertation research addresses the problems of post-war readjustment of Vietnam War veterans and investigates the extent to which institutional racism and trauma disrupted the reintegration experiences of African American veterans and contributed to the rise of incarcerated veterans. 

In 2014, I worked as an intern with Oklahoma Oral History Research Program and interviewed over thirty military veterans, mostly from the war in Vietnam. Those interviews will be made available soon as part of the “Spotlighting Oklahoma” oral history project. In August 2014, I interviewed Melvin Morris, an African American Vietnam veteran who was recently awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Obama, after being passed over for the award during the war, due to discriminatory practices in the military. Melvin Morris’s interview is now available online.

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