Laura Miller

Ei’ichi Shibusawa-Seigo Arai Endowed Professor of Japanese Studies, and Professor of Anthropology, University of Missouri-St Lewis
PopAnth Author, Community Advisor, Founding Member

Laura is a PopAnth editor and founder. She is a Californio who became interested in anthropology because of her unique background. In 2010 she became the Ei'ichi Shibusawa-Seigo Arai Endowed Professor of Japanese Studies and Professor of Anthropology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She received her PhD (linguistic anthropology) from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1988.

After graduation from the University of California, Santa Barbara with BA degrees in Anthropology and Asian Studies, Laura taught English and supervised an English language program for Teijin Educational Systems in Osaka, Japan (1977-1981). She began teaching anthropology in the 1980s in Los Angeles, and has be a faculty member at several universities.

Laura has published more than fifty articles and book chapters on Japanese culture and language, including topics such as the Korean wave, English loanwords in Japanese, girls' slang, and print club photos.

Laura just completed co-editing (with Alisa Freedman and Christine Yano) the volume Modern Girls on the Go: Gender, Mobility, and Labor in Japan (Stanford University Press, 2013). She is currently working on a new book project tentatively entitled Japanese Girl Stuff, which builds on her multiple interests and expertise in linguistic anthropology, Japanese popular culture, and gender and media.


This engaging introduction to Japan's burgeoning beauty culture investigates a wide range of phenomenon—aesthetic salons, dieting products, male beauty activities, and beauty language—to find out why Japanese women and men are paying so much attention to their bodies. Laura Miller uses social science and popular culture sources to connect breast enhancements, eyelid surgery, body hair …

Are bad girls casualties of patriarchy, a necessary evil, or visionary pioneers? The authors in this volume propose shifts in our perceptions of bad girls by providing new ways to understand them through the case of Japan. By tracing the concept of the bad girl as a product of specific cultural assumptions and historical settings, Bad Girls of Japan maps new roads and old detours in revealing a …

Offering a concise, entertaining snapshot of Japanese society, Manners and Mischief examines etiquette guides, advice literature, and other such instruction for behavior from the early modern period to the present day and discovers how manners do in fact make the nation. Eleven accessibly written essays consider a spectrum of cases, from the geisha party to gay bar cool, executive …

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