List of fictional anthropologists

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Fictional anthropologists appear in novels, short stories, comics, movies, and radio and television series. The following list excludes characters designated as exclusively archaeologists.

Michael Shanks as Daniel Jackson
  • Zack Addy, forensic anthropologist in the television series, Bones; portrayed by Eric Millegan
  • Mary Albright, played by Jane Curtin in the sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun
  • Dennis Alan, played by Bill Pullman, in the film The Serpent and the Rainbow, which is based on the non-fiction novel with the same name written by Wade Davis, a real-life Harvard anthropologist and ethnobotanist who investigates zombification in Haiti, and who Pullman plays a fictionalized version of in the film.
  • Dr. Stephen Arden, played by Alfred Molina; introduces himself as an anthropologist in the science-fiction horror movie Species
  • Dr. Louise Banks, in the movie Arrival, is a linguist. The movie is derived from the novella Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang, with the same linguist in the central role.
  • Dr. Alex Blake, forensic linguist (not specified as an anthropologist) in the television series Criminal Minds
  • Linda Bluenight, forensic anthropologist who goes to teach Papago children on a reservation in Arizona in the book Mission to Sonora by Rebecca Cramer
  • Elenore Smith Bowen, slightly fictionalized ethnographer in Africa around the 1940s, based on the author's own fieldwork in Nigeria in the late 1940s and early 1950s, in the novel Return to Laughter by Laura Bohannon, writing as Elenore Smith Bowen
  • Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan (born Joy Keenan), played by Emily Deschanel; a protagonist of the American television series Bones, loosely based on author and forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs
  • Temperance "Tempe" Brennan, forensic anthropologist in novel series Temperance Brennan by Kathy Reichs
Emily Deschanel, who plays Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan
  • Wiggs Dannyboy, in Jittebug Perfume by Tom Robbins
  • Chakotay, played by Robert Beltran in the television series Star Trek: Voyager
  • Rick Chang, physical anthropologist in Michael Crichton's novel Timeline; works at an archaeological site in France
  • Claire DeLoone, anthropologist at New York's American Museum of Natural History, one of the three female leads in the 1944 Broadway musical-comedy On the Town; the role was originated by Betty Comden, who co-wrote the book
  • Nelson Denoon, of the novel Mating (1992) by Norman Rush, anthropologist and cult founder in Botswana
  • Garnet DeWinter, forensic anthropologist in J. D. Robb's Concealed in Death
  • Clark Thomas Edison, forensic physical anthropologist in the television series Bones
  • Jorg Erickson, "primate anatomist" who examines a talking orang in a brief appearance in Michael Crichton's novel Next
  • Gregory Eyck, post-modernist anthropologist at the University of the Midwest in Publish and Perish: Three Tales of Tenure and Terror by James Hynes
  • Rudolfo Fuentes, forensic anthropologist from Cuba, interning under Dr. Brennan in the 9th season of the television series Bones; played by Ignacio Serricchio
  • Robert Fuhrey, in The Last Safari by Richard Rhodes; paleontologist who discovers an ancient hominid
  • Alfred Hofstadter, father of Leonard Hofstadter an experimental physicist in the television series The Big Bang Theory
  • Frank Holliwell, anthropologist in the political thriller A Flag for Sunrise by Robert Stone
  • Aric Hort, anthropologist (ethnographer) on the planet Langri in Lloyd Biggle, Jr.'s 1974 science-fiction novel Monument
  • Daniel Jackson, linguist and archaeologist in the 1994 science-fiction movie Stargate and the spin-off Canadian-American television series Stargate SG-1, played respectively by Michael Shanks and James Spader
  • Johnathan, graduate student in anthropology, starts a new life on the Faeroe Islands in the novel Far Afield by Susanna Kaysen
  • Kagura, character from the anime and manga series Azumanga Daioh; also makes a cameo appearance as an anthropologist in Classroom of Thesis; From the Report to the Graduation Thesis (論文の教室[レポートから卒論まで]?) by Kazuhisa Todayama
  • Elsie Kastner, linguist and graphologist in Michael Crichton's novel Timeline; works at an archaeological site in France run by historians
  • John Kegedi in The Last Safari by Richard Rhodes; a Tanzanian; Fuhrey's assistant, working on a site with a hominid older than any other yet discovered; teaches soil chemistry, agriculture, and paleontology, but denies that he is a paleontologist; no specific mention is made of anthropology
  • Lasher, an Episcopal minister with an M.A. in anthropology, and the leader of a rebel group known as the "Ghost Shirt Society" Kurt Vonnegut's novel Player Piano
  • Charlotte Lewis, played by Rebecca Mader; cultural anthropologist on the ABC television series Lost
  • Domenica Macdonald, anthropologist; the creation of Alexander McCall Smith, in his 44 Scotland Street series, including Lover over Scotland, Anchor Books, 2006
  • Elizabeth MacPherson, forensic anthropologist, is the protagonist of the Elizabeth MacPherson series by Sharyn McCrumb
  • Don Maddson, linguist in James P. Hogan's Giant's Star (not specifically called an anthropologist), given the task of learning and translating the Ganymedeans' language
  • John Markway is an anthropologist who studies ghosts in The Haunting, based on

Shirley Jackson's novel The Haunting of Hill House

  • Uncle Martin in the television sitcom My Favorite Martian, Martian anthropologist interested in Earth culture
  • John Montagu is an anthropologist interested in the supernatural in Shirley Jackson's novel, The Haunting of Hill House, which was the basis of the movie The Haunting.
  • Julie Norman is a cultural anthropologist who investigates unexplained deaths of senior citizens in Florida's Gold Coast the novel Assisted Dying: An Ethnographic Murder Mystery on Florida's Gold Coast and the novel about Indian-Americans, The Gift of a Bride: A Tale of Anthropology, Matrimony and Murder, both by Serena Nanda and Joan Gregg.
  • Noah is a cultural anthropologist abducted by pirates in two episodes of the TV show Archer. In the escape from mutinying pirates, Noah must leave the only copy of his unfinished dissertation, and all his notes, behind.
  • Dr. Ann Pearlmutter in James Patterson's Women's Murder Club series of novels, a marginal character who works at University of California, San Diego, specializing in body ID and facial reconstruction
  • Katherine Reichs, fictional anthropologist created by the fictional anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan in the television program (see above) (although Kathy Reichs is a real anthropologist from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and inspiration for the main character on Bones)
  • W.H.R. Rivers, fictional version of the real anthropologist of the same name, in Regeneration by Pat Barker; treats shell-shocked soldiers so they can be sent back to the front in the brutal First World War
  • Finley Scott is a forensic anthropologist in Dani Pettrey's novel Cold Shot (Chesapeake Valor).
  • Dan Sherman, anthropology instructor whose attempt at problem-based learning is problem-filled[1]
  • Grant Thornton, anthropologist and major love interest in Africa, in A Touch of Betrayal: Treasures of the Heart #3 by Catherine Palmer
  • Bolivar Trask, character in the Marvel Comics universe (1965+)
  • Professor Edward Travers, played by Jack Watling, anthropologist and explorer who appears in two serials of the BBC television series Doctor Who
  • Martiya van der Leun, anthropologist in the murder mystery Fieldwork by Mischa Berlinski
  • Bud Warhol, forensic anthropologist in Tantric Zoo and other Bud Warhol mysteries by Rob Loughran
  • Constance Wright, played by the real forensic scientist Kathy Reichs; forensic anthropologist on the board conducting Zack Addy's dissertation defense, in the television series Bones
  • Stanley X (played by Richard Pryor), anthropologist and drummer in the movie Wild in the Streets
  • The unnamed female narrator of the novel Mating (1992) by Norman Rush; graduate student of anthropology[2]
  • Unnamed team of ethnologists and graduate students mentioned in the science-fiction novel Ports of Call by Jack Vance. On the planet Terce, all were eaten by the Uche or skinned by the Shuja.


  1. ^ "DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - L". Retrieved 2014-09-03.  A didactic story, "Dan Tries Problem-Based Learning: A Case Study" by Harold B. White III, in To Improve the Academy, published by The Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education, volume 15, pp. 80–91. 1996.
  2. ^ Bergeron & Pietrykowski, Suzanne & Bruce. "Can There Be a Genre Difference in Economic Literature," What Do Economists Know?: New Economics of Knowledge, p. 140. Retrieved 2014-07-22.