Singer, Milton B.

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SINGER, MILTON B. (1912–1994), U.S. anthropologist. Born in Warsaw, Poland, Singer was brought to the United States as a child and grew up in Detroit, Michigan. He received his B.A. (1934) and M.A. (1936) from the University of Texas, and his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Chicago. In 1940 Singer was appointed professor of social science at the University of Chicago, where previously he had served in other capacities. His primary interests were Indian civilization, theory of culture and culture change, and philosophical anthropology. In 1948 he received the Quantrell Award of Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. He became a professor in the anthropology department in 1954 and continued to teach until his retirement in 1979, and was then named professor emeritus. Singer did considerable fieldwork in India. He helped organize and lead the Committee on Southern Asian Studies at the U of C (1955–70) and was instrumental in developing South Asia Studies at the university. He then expanded his work to include an anthropological approach to the study of American culture. In 1984 Singer received the Distinguished Scholar Award of the Association for Asian Studies.

Singer edited Traditional India: Structure and Change (1958) and Krishna: Myths, Rites, and Attitudes (1968). He wrote Shame and Guilt: A Psychoanalytic and a Cultural Study (with G. Piers, 1953), Passage to More than India (1967), When a Great Tradition Modernizes (1972), Man's Glassy Essence (1984), Nuclear Policy, Culture, and History (1988), and Semiotics of Cities, Selves, and Cultures (1991).

[Ephraim Fischoff /

Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]