The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Jason Higgins

Portrait of Jason Higgins

Ph.D. Student

Jason A. Higgins is a Ph.D. student in American History and Global History, studying the social history of modern war and specializing on the American War in Vietnam. He is pursuing a public history certificate with a concentration on oral history and communication. Having conducted over sixty oral histories with veterans, his research focuses on the relationship between war trauma and the difficulties of veteran reintegration. He has a forthcoming article in War, Literature, and the Arts (2018), “Through Star-Spangled Eyes: Lew Puller’s Fortunate Son and the Problem of Resolution,” which examines trauma narratives and veteran suicide.

Jason is currently directing the Incarcerated Veterans Oral History Project and studying the connections between trauma and imprisonment. Follow his YouTube channel to view many of his featured full-length oral history interviews. His dissertation will trace the rise of mass incarceration to the policies of the Vietnam War and historicize the experiences of incarcerated veterans from the wars in Vietnam to the Middle East. As an affiliate of the UMass Oral History Lab, Jason has also been involved with several oral history projects beyond his research focus, involving the Emily Dickinson Museum, a Croatian immigrant community, the Holocaust, and the Pearl Harbor attack. He also recently developed open-access training tools designed to teach oral history at every stage of the process.

Higgins earned a Master’s in English from Oklahoma State University in 2016. He graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello, double majoring in English and History.