- Professor of East Asian Studies
- PhD, University of Chicago, 1994
- MA, Middlebury College, 1985
- BA, Bennington College, 1984
Sheila Miyoshi Jager is a professor of East Asian studies. She was also a visiting research professor at the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College from 2006 to 2008.
Her teaching and research interests are closely tied. Her courses include: Korea: Past, Present and Future; The Politics of Memory; The Korean War; The Opening of Korea, 1876-1905; and the Japanese Seizure of Korea, 1895-1910.
She is currently working on a new book about the great power struggle over the Korean Peninsula at the end of the 19th and early 20th century entitled The ‘Other’ Great Game: The Opening of Korea and the Birth of Modern East Asia. The book is under contract with Harvard University Press.
Select Publications and Presentations
- Truth, Politics and Power with Neal Conan: A North Korean Update; August 17, 2017: https://www.truthpoliticsandpower.org/
- "What Trump Needs to Know about North Korea's History," Politico Magazine, August 9, 2017: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/08/09/donald-trump-north-korea-history-215473
- Brothers At War: The Unending Conflict in Korea (W.W. Norton/Profile Books, 2013). This book offers a military, political and cultural history of the war, seen as spanning from 1945 to the present, and its global impact told from the American, North and South Korean, Soviet/Russian, and Chinese perspectives. (It was selected for the 2013 National Book Festival and as one of the Best Books on Asia in 2013 by Foreign Affairs)
- Ruptured Histories: War, Memory and the Post-Cold War in Asia (Harvard University Press, 2007). This edited volume with Rana Mitter explored how the major East Asian states underwent a profound reassessment of their experiences from World War II to Vietnam following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s.
- Narratives of Nation Building in Korea: A Genealogy of Patriotism (M.E. Sharpe, 2003). This book focused on Korean nationalism and how particular gendered tropes have had a persistent and pervasive life in the fashioning of Korean modernity.
Jiyul Kim and Sheila Miyoshi Jager PresentApril 24, 2018
Visiting Assistant Professor of History Jiyul Kim and Professor of East Asian Studies Sheila Miyoshi Jager presented a two-part talk on April 16 titled "Prospects for Peace and War in Korea" at Kendal at Oberlin. This was an updated version of a similar talk presented as part of the Oberlin College history department's "History Behind the News" series. Jager provided the political, economic, ideological, and cultural context while Kim focused on the military dimension behind the current situation on the Korean peninsula.
Sheila Miyoshi Jager QuotedMarch 19, 2018
Professor of East Asian Studies Sheila Miyoshi Jager was extensively quoted in a USA Today article that examined North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in light of the groundbreaking news that he extended an invitation to President Trump for an unprecedented summit.
Sheila Miyoshi Jager Authors Article in PoliticoFebruary 16, 2018
Sheila Miyoshi Jager, professor of East Asian studies, authored "The Strange, Dark History of North Korea and the Olympics" in Politico Magazine. The article looks back at the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics and details its implications for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
Sheila Miyoshi Jager QuotedFebruary 16, 2018
Sheila Miyoshi Jager, professor of East Asian studies, was quoted in USA Today about the prospects for North-South Korean relations in the wake of the Olympics.
Sheila Miyoshi Jager Quoted in New York TimesFebruary 16, 2018
Sheila Miyoshi Jager, professor of East Asian studies, was quoted in the New York Times about the historic first match of the unified South-North Korean women's Olympic hockey team at the PyeongChang Winter Olympic games.
Sheila Miyoshi Jager QuotedDecember 11, 2017
Professor of East Asian studies Sheila Miyoshi Jager was interviewed and quoted by USA Today in an article about North Korea. Read the article, "Is Kim Jong Un Crazy? The North Korea Leader is Just a Cold Calculator, Experts Say."
Sheila Miyoshi Jager Interviewed for USA TodayDecember 5, 2017
Professor of East Asian studies Sheila Miyoshi Jager was interviewed and quoted by USA Today in an article about North Korea. Read the article, “How Safe is the U.S. from a North Korea Nuclear Attack?”
Jiyul Kim and Sheila Miyoshi Jager Sign Book ContractNovember 7, 2017
Visiting Assistant Professor of history Jiyul Kim and Professor of East Asian Studies Sheila Miyoshi Jager signed a contract with Cambridge University Press to co-author The Korean War: A New History for publication in 2022.
The book will consider the conflict as part of The Long Korean War that began with the emergence of competing versions of modern Korean nationalism in the early 20th century and extending to the present, with no end in sight. It will also cover new aspects and perspectives of the war coming from the fields of international, social, and cultural history as well as its memory among the participant countries.
Sheila Miyoshi Jager Gives Talk at Washington History Seminar SeriesNovember 2, 2017
Sheila Miyoshi Jager Quoted in USA TodaySeptember 29, 2017
Sheila Miyoshi Jager, professor of East Asian studies, was interviewed and quoted by USA Today in two articles about North Korea, "From Good to Bad: Five Possible Options for What's Next in North Korea-U.S. Standoff," and "North Korea Has Taken Provocatice Actions for Decades, but This Time Could Trigger War."
Sheila Miyoshi Jager Interviewed on Truth, Politics, and PowerAugust 24, 2017
Professor of East Asian studies Sheila Miyoshi Jager talked to Neal Conan, host of the program Truth, Politics and Power that is broadcast on NPR around the country, about the history of the unending Korean War. The episode aired on August 17, 2017.
Sheila Miyoshi Jager Publishes ArticleAugust 11, 2017
Sheila Miyoshi Jager, professor of East Asian studies, published an article in Politico Magazine titled "What Trump Needs To Know About North Korea's History" with her view on the ongoing North Korean crisis.
Sheila Miyoshi Jager CommissionedMay 18, 2017
Sheila Miyoshi Jager, professor of East Asian studies, was commissioned to write a chapter in Cambridge University Press' major new four-volume reference work, the Cambridge History of America and the World, which will offer a capacious and comprehensive account of American engagement in the world from 1500 to the present.
Jager will write the chapter on United States' relationship with Japan, China, Russia, and other countries, tentatively titled "Competing Empires in Asia" for Volume 3, which covers 1900-1945. The General Series Editor is Mark P. Bradley (University of Chicago) and Vol. 3 will be edited by Brooke L. Blower (Boston University) and Andrew Preston (Cambridge University). The series is scheduled to be published in 2020.
Sheila Miyoshi Jager Signs Book ContractApril 18, 2017
Sheila Miyoshi Jager, professor East Asian studies, signed a contract with Harvard University Press for the publication of her next book, The Other Great Game: The Opening of Korea and the Birth of Modern East Asia. The book is slated for publication in 2021 as a trade book.
Sheila Miyoshi Jager Receives GrantApril 10, 2017
Sheila Miyoshi Jager, professor East Asian studies, received a travel grant from the Northeast Asia Council of the Association of Asian Studies in support of research for her next book, The Other Great Game: The Opening of Korea and the Birth of Modern East Asia.
Sheila Miyoshi Jager InterviewedApril 10, 2017
Professor of East Asian studies Sheila Miyoshi Jager was interviewed by Neal Conan, former host of National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation, for an episode on U.S. policy toward North Korea in Conan's new program, Truth, Politics & Power. The program addresses "the context and meaning that underlie" the "unprecedented series of questions and challenges" presented by the election of President Trump by placing "the new administration policies and practices in historical perspective."
Jager was interviewed along with Michele Flournoy, CEO of Center for New American Security and former undersecretary of defense for policy, and Ambassador Chris Hill who has previously held positions as ambassador to Macedonia, Poland, South Korea, and Iraq, as assistant secretary of state for East Asian & Pacific affairs, and is currently the dean of Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver.
The interview was recorded at WOBC with assistance from third-year TIMARA major Joe Misterovich and second-year English major Cena Loffredo.
Sheila Miyoshi Jager presented lectures and conducted a workshop in UKNovember 29, 2016
Professor of East Asian Studies Sheila Miyoshi Jager presented lectures on her new book project The Other Great Game: The Opening of Korea and the Birth of Modern East Asia, 1876-1905 at the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
Prof. Jager conducted the workshop on 24 Nov at the University of Cambridge on "War, Empire, and Modern Korea" based on her previous work Brothers at War: The Unending Conflict in Korea.
Sheila Miyoshi Jager Appears on PBS American Experience DocumentaryNovember 4, 2016
East Asian Studies Professor Sheila Miyoshi Jager consulted for and appears on the PBS American Experience documentary The Battle of Chosin—American-led United Nations troops were outnumbered and at risk of annihilation at the Chosin Reservoir by the sudden entrance of the People's Republic of China into the five-month-old Korean War. Available for viewing at PBS.org.
Sheila Miyoshi Jager publish review of Cold War Crucibles: The Korean Conflict and the Postwar WorldNovember 4, 2016
East Asian Studies Professor Sheila Miyoshi Jager has published a review of Hajimu Masuda's Cold War Crucibles: The Korean Conflict and the Postwar World (Harvard University Press, 2015) in History: Reviews of New Books 44.5 (Jun 2016), 159.
Sheila Miyoshi Jager Serves as Panel DiscussantApril 4, 2016
Professor of East Asian Studies Sheila Miyoshi Jager served as the discussant for the panel "Unfamiliar Border: Rediscovering the Division of Korea and Its Unknown Stories" at the annual conference of the Association for Asian Studies, held in Seattle March 31 through April 3.
Seventy years after the 1945 liberation of Korea, many Koreans accept the division of Korea as a "natural" and familiar state of affairs. Instead of the superpowers' decisions about Korea's division, the four presentations discussed by Jager focused on the Korean people's experiences, choices, migrations, and life stories propelled by the crises of the division.
Sheila Miyoshi Jager PublishesFebruary 23, 2016
Professor of East Asian Studies Sheila Miyoshi Jager published “Decoding North Korea's Bluster,” an op-ed on understanding North Korea's recent provocations involving a nuclear test and missile launch, in The Diplomat. The piece argues “seeing Pyongyang's provocations for what they really are could help avoid disaster" and explains how domestic—more than international factors—underlie North Korea's often perplexing actions. The Diplomat is a leading international current-affairs magazine for the Asia-Pacific region.
Sheila Miyoshi Jager Joins Advisory BoardFebruary 5, 2016
East Asian Studies Professor Sheila Miyoshi Jager accepted an invitation to join the inaugural advisory board of the Hyundai Motor-Korea Foundation Center for Korean History and Public Policy at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C.
The advisory board is composed of eminent leaders in academia, public life, and the business community and advises the center on all programming aspects of its work and reviews the center’s activities on a regular basis.
Launched in 2015, the mission of the Center for Korean History and Public Policy is to provide a coherent, long-term platform for improving historical understanding of Korea and the US-Korea relationship and informing the public policy debate on the Korean peninsula in the United States and beyond.
The Wilson Center, chartered by Congress as the official memorial to President Wilson, is the nation's key non-partisan policy forum to inform actionable ideas for the policy community.
Sheila Miyoshi Jager Reviews BookJanuary 21, 2016
Professor of East Asian Studies Sheila Miyoshi Jager reviewed Richard Boynton's The Invitation Only-Zone in the January 17, 2016, issue of the New York Times Sunday Book Review.
Sheila Miyoshi Jager Speaks at Veterans Day CeremonyNovember 13, 2015
East Asian Studies professor Sheila Miyoshi Jager was the guest speaker at the Amherst, Ohio, Veterans Day ceremony on November 11. A mural honoring veterans of the Korean War was dedicated joining previous murals for World War II and the Vietnam War.
Jager remarked that the mural honors not only veterans who served in the war between 1950 and 1953, but also the millions who have served and are still serving today to defend South Korea in the "unending" war. She pointed out that the legacy of their service and sacrifice is the prosperous and vibrant democracy that is today's South Korea who plays a leading role in preserving peace and promoting prosperity in the world.
Jager's latest book, Brothers at War: The Unending Conflict in Korea, is a history of the fraternal conflict that has lasted for more than half a century. The book was recognized at the 2013 National Book Festival and was selected as one of the best books on Asia in 2013 by Foreign Affairs magazine.
Sheila Miyoshi Jager Serves on Panel, Gives PresentationNovember 10, 2015
Professor of East Asian Studies Sheila Miyoshi Jager attended and presented at the Beijing Forum 2015, held November 6-8.
The Beijing Forum is an annual event that began in 2004 under the auspices of the Beijing Municipal Government and organized by Peking University. It is endorsed by the State Council and the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China and co-sponsored by Peking University, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Education, and the Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies. The forum is an international academic event that advocates civilizational harmony by bringing together the world’s most eminent thinkers in order to stimulate academic and cultural exchanges crucial for world peace and social progress.
This year's 3-day gathering brought together 300 scholars from more than 70 countries. Jager spoke on the panel Constructing a Road for Peace: Historical Responsibility and Multiple Memory and gave a presentation based on her current book project on the great power competition over Northeast Asia at the end of the 19th Century and its implications for peace in the region today.
Sheila Miyoshi Jager’s Book RecommendedSeptember 25, 2015
The book Brothers at War: The Unending Conflict in Korea by Professor of East Asian Studies Sheila Miyoshi Jager has been selected by Ms. Magazine as a book for learning about American wars in the inaugural War Edition of its “What You Never Learned About American History series.” The purpose of the series is to recommend “books that cover topics in ‘hidden’ history.”
Sheila Miyoshi Jager Gives Invited LectureSeptember 2, 2015
Professor of East Asian Studies Sheila Miyoshi Jager gave a lecture on her 2013 book Brothers at War: The Unending Conflict in Korea on August 6 at the U.S. Army War College's U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Jager was invited to give the lecture as part of the Center's Brooks E. Kleber Memorial Readings in Military History series. This public series features recent works by noted authors of history. A video of the presentation is available on the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center website.
Sheila Miyoshi Jager Speaks at Korean War International Academic SeminarNovember 21, 2014
On September 24, Professor of East Asian Studies Sheila Miyoshi Jager gave a talk at the Korean War 64th Anniversary International Academic Seminar held at Daegu, South Korea. The event was sponsored by Yeongnam University's Institute of Korean Unification and the Korean Army Academy at Yeongchon. Under the theme of “Beyond the Korean War and Toward Unification” the conference examined paths toward Korean unification. Miyoshi Jager's talk, based on her recent book “Brothers At War: The Unending Conflict in Korea,” provided the historical context.
Miyoshi Jager is currently in Korea for the 2014-15 academic year under a Fulbright grant to research her next book on the history of Great Power rivalry over Northeast Asia at the end of the 19th century.
Sheila Miyoshi Jager Presents at Korean War 64th Anniversary SeminarSeptember 29, 2014
Professor of East Asian Studies Sheila Miyoshi Jager gave a talk at the Korean War 64th Anniversary International Academic Seminar held at Daegu, South Korea on September 24. The event was sponsored by Yeongnam University's Institute of Korean Unification and the Korean Army Academy at Yeongchon. Under the theme of “Beyond the Korean War and toward unification” the conference examined paths toward Korean unification. Professor Jager's talk, based on her recent book Brothers At War: The Unending Conflict in Korea, provided the historical context. She is in Korea for the 2014-15 academic year under a Fulbright grant to research her next book on the history of Great Power rivalry over Northeast Asia at the end of the 19th century.
More Recognition for Sheila Miyoshi Jager’s Brothers at WarJanuary 23, 2014
Foreign Affairs magazine has chosen Associate Professor Sheila Miyoshi Jager’s newest book, Brothers at War: The Unending Conflict in Korea, as one of three of the most important books on Asia reviewed during the last year. The books were selected by Andrew Nathan, Class of 1919 Professor of Political Science at Columbia University. The other titles are David Shambaugh's China Goes Global: The Partial Power and Sumantra Bose’s Transforming India: Challenges to the World’s Largest Democracy. .