Jennifer M. Miller

Assistant Professor of History

Jennifer M. Miller offers courses on the history of U.S. foreign relations, the Cold War, and World War II in the Pacific.. She received her Ph.D. in U.S. foreign relations and international history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2012.

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Professor Miller's main research interests are the early Cold War, U.S.-Japanese relations, and Pacific History. She is currently working on a book manuscript entitled Contested Alliance: the United States, Japan, and Democracy in the Cold War (under contract with Harvard University Press). This manuscript examines the U.S.-Japanese relationship in the years following the end of the U.S. occupation of Japan (1952 -1965). Challenging U.S. and Japanese policymakers’ long celebration of this alliance as a smooth, democratic “partnership,” it examines how democracy was a source of both connection and, more importantly, tension in this relationship. Building on the U.S. occupation of Japan, U.S. policymakers hoped to root this alliance in democratic legitimacy and elevate the U.S.-Japanese alliance as a model for other Asian states. In contrast, many Japanese drew on the recent experience of war and occupation to frame the U.S.-Japanese alliance—and the Japanese government’s support of it—as a deep violation of postwar Japanese democracy. Looking at diverse American and Japanese actors—diplomats and students, labor activists, philanthropists, and intellectuals—Contested Alliance rethinks the U.S.-Japanese alliance as the product of competing visions of democracy in the Cold War.

Portions of this research have been published in the Journal of Contemporary History and Diplomatic History. In conjunction with the Wisconsin Historical Society, Miller is also the author of two oral history collections on the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

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410 Carson Hall
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison
M.A. University of Wisconsin-Madison
B.A. Wesleyan University

Selected Publications

Jennifer M. Miller, "Narrating Democracy: The Potsdam Declaration and Japanese Rearmanent" in Jeremi Suri and Hal Brands, ed. The Power of the Past (Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press, Forthcoming 2015).

Jennifer M. Miller, "Fractured Alliance: Anti-Base Protests and Postwar U.S.-Japanese Relations,” Diplomatic History 38:5 (November 2014): 953 – 986 [doi: 10.1093/dh/dht122].

Jennifer M. Miller, “The Struggle to Rearm Japan: Negotiating the Cold War State in U.S.-Japanese Relations,” Journal of Contemporary History 46:1 (January 2011): 82 – 108.

Works in progress

Contested Alliance: The United States, Japan, and Democracy in the Cold War (Book manuscript under contract with Harvard University Press)