Susan Miller

Professor, Department of History

Office: 3219 Social Science & Humanities 
Phone: (530) 752-0656 

Susan Gilson Miller is a historian of modern North Africa and the Mediterranean, with a special interest in urban studies, minority studies, and most recently, in humanitarian relief and human rights. Her undergraduate degree in Modern European history is from Wellesley College, she holds an MA degree in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University, and a Ph.D. in Modern Middle Eastern and North African History from the University of Michigan. 

She has taught at Wellesley College, Brandeis University, and from 1990 until 2008, at Harvard University, where she headed the Program in North African Studies. At UC Davis, her teaching straddles the fields of Middle Eastern Studies, Mediterranean Studies, and Jewish Studies. She lectures on contemporary North Africa, Modern Jewish history, and Jews in the Muslim World, and has taught seminars on the Algerian Revolution, space and gender, port cities of the Mediterranean, and Mediterranean historiography.  

Her most recent book is A History of Modern Morocco: 1830-2000 (Cambridge University Press, 2013), a study of contemporary Moroccan history in its global context. Her current research project concerns the political, social and ethical dimensions of rescuing and humanitarian relief in North Africa during World War II.

Selected Recent Publications:

  • “Desert Blues: Historical Riffs on the Moroccan Periphery.” In Desert Tourism, Tracing the Fragile Edges of Development.Virginie Lefevre, ed. with Aziza Chaouni. Cambridge, MA: Aga Khan Program in Islamic Architecture/Harvard University Press, 2012.
  • “Making Tangier Modern: Ethnicity and Urban Development.” In Emily R. Gottreich and Daniel Schroeter, eds. Jewish Culture and Society in North Africa. Bloomington, University of Indiana Press, 2011.
  • The Architecture and Memory of the Minority Quarter of the Muslim Mediterranean City. Edited by Susan Gilson Miller and Mauro Bertagnin. Aga Khan Program on Islamic Architecture, the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010.
  • Berbers and Others: Beyond Tribe and Nation in the Maghrib. Edited by Susan Gilson Miller and Katherine E. Hoffman, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010.
  • “Of Time and the City: Clifford Geertz on Urban History." Journal of North African Studies 14,3 (2009): 479-490. Reprinted in S. Slyomovics, ed. Clifford Geertz in Morocco. London: Routledge, 2010.
  • “The Mellah of Fez: Reflections on the Spatial Turn in Moroccan Jewish History,” Jewish TopographiesVisions   of Space, Traditions of Place,  ed. A. Nocke, J. Brauch, A. Lipphardt. London, Ashgate, 2008.

Course History

  • HIS 011 - The History of  the Jewish People in Modern Times 
  • HIS 102X  - Port Cities of the Mediterranean
  • HIS 102X - The Algerian Revolution in Fact, Film and Fiction
  • HIS 112A - The History of Jews in Muslim Lands, 600-1750
  • HIS 112C - Jews Among Muslims
  • HIS 115F  - The History of North Africa (The Maghrib), 1830 to the Present
  • HIS 201W - Mediterranean Passages; The Theory and Practice of Regional History
  • HIS 201Q - Gender and Space: A Historiographical Approach
  • MSA 111A - Muslim cities of the ME and SA
  • MSA 113A - Great Cities of the Middle East and South Asia