Michael B. Miller

Professor, Department of History
Cooper Fellow of the College of Arts & Sciences

(412) 918-1059
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Michael Miller was born in Cincinnati and educated at Northwestern (BA 1967) and the University of Pennsylvania (Ph.D. 1976). His principal work has been in the fields of modern French history, modern European history, business history, and maritime history. His scholarly publications include The Bon Marché: Bourgeois Culture and the Department Store, 1869-1920 (Princeton: 1981; French edition 1987) and Shanghai on the Métro: Spies, Intrigue, and the French Between the Wars (Berkeley, 1994). His most recent book is Europe and the Maritime World: A Twentieth-Century History (Cambridge University Press, 2012), which writes the history of globalization by sea across the twentieth century. This book has been awarded the 2013 Hagley Prize for the best book in business history, broadly defined, and the Alfred and Fay Chandler Book Award for 2010-2012. Among the articles he has published from this study are “The Business Trip: Maritime Networks in the Twentieth Century” (Business History Review, 2003) and “Pilgrims’ Progress: The Business of the Hajj” (Past and Present, 2006). His article, “When East Met East: Dutch East Indies Planters and the Ukraine Project (1942-1944),” (Central European History, 2020) was also, initially, drawn from this research. 

Currently, he is writing a book about France and its rivers, streams, and canals. Focused largely on the nineteenth century, but reaching back to medieval and Roman times, this project takes up the themes of historical identity, governance, property and built environments, the balance between traditional and modern, and river cities in a country like France. His article, “Lyon: The Meaning of a River City,” in Thaisa Way, ed. River Cities, City Rivers (Dumbarton Oaks, 2018) addresses some of his findings.

Before joining the University of Miami faculty he taught at Rice University and Syracuse University. He has held fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the NEH, the ACLS, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the DAAD, the Fulbright Program, and the Harvard Business School. In Fall 2015 he held a Berlin Prize Fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin. He teaches courses on a variety of subjects, including Modern France, Europe in the Age of Hitler and Stalin, the survey course in Modern Europe, History of the Modern Business Enterprise, The Sea in History, The History of Rivers, and Globalization in Modern Times.  In 2014 he received the Provost's Award for Scholarly Activity. In 2017 he was made a Cooper Fellow of the College of Arts & Sciences.



1976Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania
1967B.A. Northwestern University

Honors & Acknowledgements

Provost's Award for Scholarly Activity

LIST OF SPECIALTIES: Modern Europe, Modern France, Business History, Maritime History


Michael Miller The Bon Marché: Bourgeois Culture and the Department Store, 1869-1920 (Princeton University Press. 1981).

Michael B. Miller Shanghai on the Métro: Spies, Intrigue, and the French Between the Wars (University of California Press. 1994). [Link]

Michael Miller Europe and the Maritime World: A Twentieth-Century History (Cambridge University Press. 2012). [Link]