Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York
Website URL
Histories of US Empire/US in the World, History of the Philippines, US urban history/studies, History of Capitalism, History of US urban racial formation, Detroit history
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Karen Miller is Professor of History at LaGuardia Community College and the CUNY Graduate Center, where she teaches in the Master’s in Liberal Studies Program. Her current work examines the US in the Philippines between 1902 and 1965. She is interested in programs first sponsored by the American colonial state, and then taken up by the Philippine Republic, that moved Christian Filipinos into non-Christian areas, deemed “peripheral” by the state.

Dr. Miller’s first book, Managing Inequality: Northern Racial Liberalism in Interwar Detroit  [](New York University Press, 2014) argues that white northern leaders increasingly embraced egalitarian ideas about racial difference at the same time that they helped implement and maintain social and political practices that promoted racial inequality. She shows that northern segregation and egalitarian language were intertwined. This project combined a study of racial formation and urban policy with a consideration of black activism. As African Americans made clearer and more strident claims about their right to full equality, white liberal leaders used the discourse of northern racial liberalism to both respond to and manage those demands. Dr. Miller published an abridged, illustrated version of this book in 2021 with the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, called How American City Leaders Built Segregated Neighborhoods while Disavowing Racism (Cambridge: MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, 2021).

Dr. Miller’s articles and reviews have appeared in the American Quarterly, The Journal of American HistoryThe Middle West ReviewThe International Journal of Critical PedagogyThe Michigan Quarterly Review, Michigan Feminist Studies, and Against the Current. She also published a book chapter in Groundwork: Local Black Freedom Struggles in America. Dr. Miller has been a faculty fellow at a number of centers at the CUNY Graduate Center, including the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics, the Center for Humanities, the Committee for the Study of Religion, and the Committee on Globalization and Social Change. She was also a visiting scholar at the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Michigan.

Recent Publications

How American City Leaders Built Segregated Neighborhoods while Disavowing Racism (Cambridge: MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, 2021).

“’Thin, Wistful, and White’: James Fugate and Colonial Bureaucratic Masculinity in the Philippines, 1900-1938.” American Quarterly 71, no. 4 (December 2019), 921-944.

“Agricultural Commodities on the Philippine Frontier: State-Sponsored Resettlement and Ecological Distress in the 1930s” in Sabrina Joseph (ed.), Commodity Frontiers and Global Capitalist Expansion: Social, Ecological and Political Implications from the Nineteenth Century to the Present Day, Palgrave Studies in Economic History (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), 57-78.

Managing Inequality: Northern Racial Liberalism in Interwar Detroit (New York: New York University Press, 2014).

Book Review:

Shana Klein, The Fruits of Empire: Art, Food, and the Politics of Race in the Age of American Expansion, reviewed in The Journal of American History (The Journal of American History (2022) 109 (2): 446-447.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Philippines, United States
Expertise by Geography
North America, Pacific, Southeast Asia, United States
Expertise by Chronology
5, 8, 9
Expertise by Topic
Capitalism, Colonialism, Diplomacy, Environment, Gender, Indigenous Peoples, Labor, Migration & Immigration, Politics, Race, Religion, Rural & Agrarian History, Urban History