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Miriam Silverberg is a Professor Emeritus of History, and a former Director of The Center for the Study of Women at UCLA. She passed away in March 2008. Silverberg received her master's degree at Georgetown University and her doctorate from the University of Chicago. Her master's essay dealt with the massacre of Koreans in Tokyo following the 1923 earthquake. She carried her interest in Japanese colonialism in Korea to UCLA, where she encouraged graduate students to study Japanese and Korean modernity together. Her research interests include modern Japanese thought, culture, and social transformation; social and cultural theory; and comparative historiography. Her books include Changing Song: The Marxist Manifestos of Nakano Shigeharu (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990), which received the 1990 John King Fairbank Prize in East Asian History. She retired from UCLA in 2005.
Despite debilitating illness over the last several years, she continued her research and writing and published Erotic Grotesque Nonsense: The Mass Culture of Japanese Modern Times (University of California Press, 2007), which examines the history of Japanese mass culture during the 1920s and 1930s before the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941.