SOAS University of London

Japan & Korea Section, Department of East Asian Languages & Culture

Dr Owen Miller

BA MA PhD (SOAS, London)
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Expertise
  • Publications


Owen Miller
Dr Owen Miller
Email address:
+44(0) 20 7898 4363
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Academic Support Hours:
Tuesdays 2-4pm/and by appointment


Owen initially studied East Asian history at SOAS as an undergraduate and subsequently lived in South Korea, where he studied Korean language at Yonsei University. He returned to SOAS in 2001 to study for an MA and then a PhD in Korean history, focusing on merchant guilds in late nineteenth century Seoul. Prior to coming to SOAS as a lecturer in Korean Studies, Owen worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at Robinson College, University of Cambridge.

Current research interests include: the social and economic history of 19th and 20th century Korea; urban history; Korean nationalist and Marxist historiographies; the economic history of North Korea; and state formation in Northeast Asia.


Programmes Convened
Modules Taught
PhD Students supervised
  • Hyesook Yang, Utopia, Nostalgia and Escapism: Art in South Korea during the Korean War, 1950-53
  • Iris Lim, Experiencing the Digital Governance Immigration: a Qualitative Comparison of London and Seoul
  • Natalia Matveeva, Building a new world: North and South Korean economic and political development strategies in the late 1950s - mid-1960s in the context of Cold War in East Asia (working title) 
  • Yeonju Lee, Korean New Religions and the Construction of Nationalism
  • Yong Woo Cho, Apartment of Korea and Japan : urban history and political aspects


Current research interests include: the social and economic history of 19th and 20th century Korea; urban history; Korean nationalist and Marxist historiographies; the economic history of North Korea; and state formation in Northeast Asia.


For help in contacting SOAS academics and advice on services to business and the community, please contact SOAS Enterprise on +44(0)20 7898 4837 or email
For all press and media enquiries please call +44 (0)20 7898 4135 or email

Available for
Regional Expertise
  • East Asia
Country Expertise


Authored Books

Shin, Michael (ed.) and Injae, Lee and Miller, Owen and Park, Jinhoon (2014) Korean History in Maps: From Prehistory to the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Miller, Owen (2016) 'War, the state, and the formation of the North Korean industrial working class, 1931-1960'. Third World Quarterly, (37) 10, pp 1901-1920.

Miller, Owen (2010) 'The idea of stagnation in Korean historiography from Fukuda Tokuzō to the New Right'. Korean Histories, (2) 1, pp 3-12.

Miller, Owen (2010) 'Marxism and East Asian History: From Eurocentrism and Nationalism to Marxist Universalism'. Marxism 21, (7) 3, pp 202-238.

Miller, Owen (2007) 'The Myonjujon Documents: Accounting Methods and Merchants' Organisations in Nineteenth Century Korea'. Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies, (7) 1, pp 87-114.

Miller, Owen (2007) 'Ties of Labour and Ties of Commerce: Corvée Labour among Seoul Merchants in the Nineteenth Century'. Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, (50) 1, pp 41-71.

Book Chapters

Miller, Owen (2016) 'The Uneven, Combined, and Intersocietal Dimensions of Korean State Formation and Consolidation over the Longue Durée: 300–1900 CE'. In: Anievas, Alexander and Matin, Kamran, (eds.), Historical Sociology and World History: Uneven and Combined Development over the Longue Durée. London; New York, NY: Rowman & Littlefield, pp 53-72.

Miller, Owen (2016) 'The transformation of the Chosŏn economy in the Open Port Period, 1876–1910'. In: Seth, Michael, (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Modern Korean History. Abingdon; New York: Routledge, pp 81-94.

Miller, Owen (2013) 'Tobacco and the gift economy of Seoul merchants in the late nineteenth century'. In: Jackson, Andrew David, (ed.), Key Papers on Korea: Essays Celebrating 25 Years of the Centre of Korean Studies, SOAS, University of London. Leiden: Brill, pp 27-40.

Miller, Owen (2011) 'Haebang chŏnhu Chŏn Sŏktam ŭi yŏksahak: kŭndae kungmin kukka ro ihaeng kwa malksŭjuŭi yŏksahak'. Cheguk kwa minjok ŭi kyoch’a ro. Seoul: Ch'aekkwa hamkke, pp 225-254.

Miller, Owen (2010) 'Sijŏn-kukka kan kŏrae wa 19-segi huban Chosŏn ŭi kyŏngje wigi: Myŏnjujŏn sangin ŭl chungsim ŭro [Guild-government trade and Chosŏn’s late nineteenth century economic crisis: focusing on the Myŏnjujŏn merchants]'. In: Lee, Hun-chang, (ed.), Chosŏn hugi chaejŏng kwa sijang. Seoul: Seoul National University PRess.

Monographs and Working Papers

Miller, Owen (2022) New evidence of an early Korean Trotskyist organisation in the late 1940s: Research note on the ‘Bill Morgan Report’. Historical Materialism Blog:


Miller, Owen and Tikhonov, Vladimir (2008) 'Selected Writings of Han Yongun: From Social Darwinism to ‘Socialism with a Buddhist Face’' .

Opinion Pieces / Media / Blogs

Owen, Miller (2021) How Korea Became a Forgotten War.

Owen, Miller (2020) Uncovering the Hidden History of the Korean War.


This list was last generated on Wednesday, 28th September 2022, 06:52 Europe/London.