Sarah Miller-Davenport

I am a Dr of American history currently working within the History department at the University of Sheffield. My speciality lies in America’s post-1945 global role and how its status as a superpower transformed domestic culture, politics and social relations.

I undertook my history undergraduate at Oberlin College, Ohio. I worked at an international foundation in New York City before receiving my PhD from the University of Chicago in 2014.

My research has aimed at broadening the study of US history by exploring the intersections of global developments and domestic political, social and cultural change. My dissertation focused specifically on Hawaii in 1959, examining how this signified a transformation in how Americans defined their nation’s global role and how social difference in the form of an emerging multiculturalism was managed by American society.

My current book manuscript seeks to explore this relationship by analysing how and why Hawaii became a site for managing human difference as well as projecting US global power.

My next project aims to examine how American non-state actors living abroad – expatriates, aid workers, missionaries, business people – helped translate the “foreign” for domestic US audiences during the postwar era.


  • America and the Cold War

  • American colonialism and empire

  • Hawaiian statehood

Relevant publications

  • State of the New: Hawai‘i Statehood and Global Decolonization in American Culture, 1945-1978 (book manuscript)

  • “‘Their Blood Shall Not be Shed in Vain’: Evangelical Missionaries and the Search for God and Country in Post-World War II Asia,” The Journal of American History, March 2013 (winner of the Bernath Prize from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations).

  • “Selling the ‘Golden People’: Hawai‘i Tourism and the Commodification of Race” (under review)

Professional roles

  • American Historical Association, Member

  • Organization of American Historians, Member

  • Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, Member