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Stanley Diamond (January 4, 1922 – March 31, 1991) was an American poet and anthropologist. As a young man, he identified as a poet and attended first the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and then New York University, graduating from the latter with a B.A. in English and Philosophy.

At the outbreak of World War II, Diamond joined the British Army Field Service and served in North Africa. Like many veterans of his generation, he went to graduate school on the G.I. Bill and received a Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University in 1951.

After graduation, he held a teaching position at the University of California at Los Angeles, but as a result of denouncing the McCarthyist politics of that era he was dismissed and found that no other university was willing to hire him for the next three years. It was during this period that he conducted his first ethnographic fieldwork, which took him to an Israeli kibbutz and a nearby Arab mountain village. On his return to the United States, he taught at Brandeis University and Syracuse University before moving to the New School for Social Research in 1966, where he founded the New School anthropology program; within a few years, this program developed into a full department. Diamond served as the department chair until 1983, when he was named Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Humanities at the New School and also Poet in the University. He later taught as visiting professor in Berlin and Mexico and at Bard College.

As an ethnographer and social critic, Diamond conducted research in Israel; among the Anaguta of the Jos Plateau in the Nigeria during the last years of British colonial rule; among the Seneca Nation of upstate New York; and in Biafra during the 1967-1970 Biafran War, when he advocated for Biafran independence. Diamond is also known for founding the social science journal Dialectical Anthropology in 1976, as well as for a number of published books, including several volumes of poetry, including Totems and Going West.

He founded the first department of critical anthropology in the United States at the New School for Social Research in New York. He also founded the most widely circulated international journal of anthropology in the world, Dialectical Anthropology. His best-known book is a collection of essays called In Search Of The Primitive.

Major publications

  • Culture in history, Columbia University Press, 1960.
  • Primitive views of the world, Columbia University Press, 1964.
  • Music of the Jos Plateau and other regions of Nigeria (audio recording), Folkways Records, 1966.
  • The transformation of East Africa: Studies in political anthropology (Stanley Diamond and Fred G. Burke, editors), Basic Books, 1967.
  • Anthropological perspectives on education (Murray L. Wax, Stanley Diamond, and Fred O. Gearing, editors), Basic Books, 1971.
  • In search of the primitive: A critique of civilization, Transaction Books, 1974.
  • Toward a Marxist anthropology: Problems and perspectives, Mouton, 1979.
  • Anthropology: Ancestors and heirs (Stanley Diamond, editor), Mouton, 1980.
  • Culture in history: Essays in honor of Paul Radin (Stanley Diamond, editor), Octagon Books, 1981.
  • Paul Radin. In: Sydel Silverman (Editor) Totems and Teachers. Key Figures in the History of Anthropology. Alta Mira, 2003, S. 51–73, ISBN 978-0759104600


  • "Stanley Diamond: In Memoriam," Dialectical Anthropology, vol. 16, no. 2 (June, 1991), pp. 105-106.


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