Laura Miller, Ph.D.
Eiichi Shibusawa-Seigo Arai Endowed Professor of Japanese Studies and Professor of History
Phone: (314) 516-7246
Education: Dr. Laura Miller received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1988. She came to UMSL in August 2010.
She is an internationally prominent scholar of Japan studies and linguistic anthropology. After graduation from the University of California, Santa Barbara with BA degrees in Anthropology and Asian Studies, she supervised an English language program for a Japanese company in Osaka (1977-1981). She received her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1988.
Miller has published more than ninety articles and book chapters on Japanese culture and language. She is the author of Beauty Up: Exploring Contemporary Japanese Body Aesthetics (University of California Press, 2006). She co-edited Modern Girls on the Go: Gender, Mobility, and Labor in Japan (with Freedman and Yano, Stanford University Press, 2013), Manners and Mischief: Gender, Power, and Etiquette in Japan(with Bardsley, University of California Press, 2011), and Bad Girls of Japan (with Bardsley, Palgrave 2005). Diva Nation: Female Icons from Japanese Cultural History, co-edited with Rebecca Copeland, was published in June 2018 by the University of California Press.
Her most recent publications include:
Miller, L. 2020. Deracialisation or Body Fashion? Cosmetic Surgery and Body Modification in Japan, Asian Studies Review.
Miller, L. 2020. “Appropriation. Abe no Seimei.” Japanese Media and Popular Culture: An Open-Access Digital Initiative of the University of Tokyo. https://jmpc-utokyo.com/keyword/appropriation/
Two of Dr. Miller’s recent journal articles include “Girl culture in East Asia,” in Transnational Asia: an online interdisciplinary journal and “Japanese tarot cards,” in ASIA Network Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Art 24 (1): 1-28
Dr. Miller has been active as a leader in many professional organizations, and is Past President of the Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs, and member of the American Advisory Committee for the Japan Foundation. Dr. Miller served as one of the Associate Editors for the four-volume set International Encyclopedia of Linguistic Anthropology, published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2020. She also contributed three entries on “Media representation of language and writing systems,” “Folk theories of language, folk linguistics,” and “William O. Bright (1928-2006).