Susanna Millar (née Friedmann, 1924, in Berlin) came to England in 1939, and prepared for University entry in evening and weekend classes. She received her B.A. (Hons. Psychology,1947, Philosophy, 1945) from the University of London (Birkbeck College), while working as a teacher, and later (1948-52) taught Psychology part-time for London University. She was a Fellow at the National Association for Mental Health (1951-52), and Educational Psychologist (Wakefield: 1952-1954; Oxford 1954-60). She is married to Fergus Millar. While their children were young (born, 1960, 1962,1964), she lectured part-time at Birkbeck College (1960-63), and at the Oxford University Department (then ‘Institute’) of Experimental Psychology (1963 -1969), and published “The Psychology of Play” (Penguin Books, 1968), which was translated into 10 other languages (including Japanese).
Millar had received her Ph.D. in 1952, from the University of London for research on social attitudes in understanding verbal materials. Her subsequent research, based at the Oxford University Department of Experimental Psychology (1969-2008) using ‘haptic’ perception (touch and movement, which had rarely been studied before), to examine shape and spatial cognition with and without vision, and in reading Braille. The research also focused effects of egocentric (body-centered, including postural) reference frames, when external (beyond reach) reference cues need deliberate attention and memory. The studies were published in relevant academic journals. Birmingham University awarded Millar an Honorary Doctorate in 1998.
Before starting her research in Oxford in 1969, Susanna Millar taught for various Oxford Colleges, including LMH (later as Senior Research Fellow) until 1981, when she came to St. Hugh’s as lecturer and director of psychological studies, and was elected to a Senior Research Fellowship in 1987. After retiring from St. Hugh’s in 1991 (also as University Research Lecturer) she continued her research in the Department, and published 3 books: Understanding and Representing Space: Theory and Evidence from Studies with Blind and Sighted Children,, 1994, O.U.P (published in Spanish in 1997). Reading by Touch,1997 Routledge (published in French, in 2013). Space and Sense: 2008, Essays in Cognitive Psychology, Psychology Press.