Heather M. Haley


Auburn University


Dr. Melissa Blair

Academic Interests:

Commemoration and Remembrance
First World War
Memory and Identity
Public History
Race, Gender, LGBTQ
U.S. Military History
U.S. Naval History
Women’s Studies


“Where Individual Rights End and State Rights Begin: Challenges to Servicemember Citizenship Rights in Twentieth Century America”

Bio Note:

Heather Haley is a Ph.D. candidate at Auburn University focusing on the contestations and mitigations of military servicemember citizenship rights in twentieth century America. She received a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History and a Master of Arts degree in History with a concentration in Public History from Texas State University. She has a penchant for conducting oral histories including the initial research, interview process, and concluding transcription so that the inclusion of oral history creates a more thorough and personal documentation of historical events. Under the direction of Dr. Ellen Tillman, Heather’s thesis research and analysis of Agent Orange dispersal in Vietnam and Korea—with recent publication in Sound Historian and Federal History—was well-received, in part, due to the inclusion of such narratives. Some of her research interests involve the sociological and cognitive constructs of memory as they informed the identities of U.S. Navy veterans. Her article, “Neptune’s Commandments: Invented Traditions and the Formation of USS Alabama (BB-60) as an Imagined Community,” will be published with the Graduate Journal of Social Sciences in 2019.

Heavily influenced by courses taken in women’s history and the social, labor, and environmental movements of the 20th century, Heather’s dissertation interests shifted to center on an analysis of military service as an expression—and as her analysis will show, repression—of citizenship. While active duty servicemen and women defend the rights of American citizens, they are frequently denied those same constitutional protections. This study examines four instances of contestations to and denials of American citizenship rights to active duty servicemembers—labor organization and negotiation, access to the civilian judicial system, gender equity in the administration of welfare benefits, and privacy—to demonstrate how the individual rights of civilians expand, but not necessarily for those dedicated to military service.

Updated March 2019