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Note: These rankings dynamically change as our AI learns new things and new publications and citations are made. Academics are actively researching and publishing new insights, leaving our measure of more recent influence subject to continual adjustments. While we delay real-time changes for quality assurance reasons, be not surprised as you see our rankings change over time.

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List of the most influential people in Anthropology, for the years 2010 – 2020

Ulf Hannerz
# 1
Ulf Hannerz

1942 - Present (78 years)

#2214 person's overall influence

Ulf Hannerz is an emeritus professor of social anthropology at Stockholm University, which is where he also earned his Ph.D. As an anthropologist, he has focused his research on urban and media anthropology. His research has taken him to locations in the United States, the Caribbean, and West Africa.

Marshall Sahlins
# 2
Marshall Sahlins

1930 - Present (90 years)

#654 person's overall influence

Marshall Sahlins is the Charles F. Grey Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Social Sciences at the University of Chicago. Sahlins earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Michigan, and his Ph.D from Columbia University.

Nancy Scheper-Hughes
# 3
Nancy Scheper-Hughes

1944 - Present (76 years)

#10682 person's overall influence

David Price
# 4
David Price

1960 - Present (60 years)

#4066 person's overall influence

David Price is a professor of anthropology at St. Martin’s University. He was born in 1960 and earned his B.A. from The Evergreen State College, an A.M. from University of Chicago, and a Ph.D from University of Florida.

David Graeber
# 5
David Graeber

1961 - 2020 (59 years)

#2367 person's overall influence

David Graeber is a professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics. He earned his B.A. from the State University of New York at Purchase and his MA. And Ph.D from University of Chicago. From there, he spent twenty months conducting research in Madagascar on a Fulbright fellowship.

Paul Rabinow
# 6
Paul Rabinow

1944 - Present (76 years)

#2960 person's overall influence

Paul Rabinow is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley and director of the Anthropology of the Contemporary Research Collaboratory (ARC). He earned his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D in anthropology from the University of Chicago. He has also studied at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris, France. He has held Fulbright fellowships at the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro and the University of Iceland.

Bruno Latour
# 7
Bruno Latour

1947 - Present (73 years)

#607 person's overall influence

Bruno Latour is an anthropologist, philosopher, and sociologist. He earned his Ph.D from the University of Tours. Soon after graduating, he became interested in anthropology, and set out on a study of race and decolonization in Ivory Coast.

Marc Augé
# 8
Marc Augé

1935 - Present (85 years)

#5197 person's overall influence

Marc Augé is a French anthropologist.

# 9
Stanton Wortham

1963 - Present (57 years)

#65658 person's overall influence

Stanton E.F. Wortham is a teacher, scholar, and documentary film producer who is the inaugural Charles F. Donovan, S.J., Dean American professor at Boston College Lynch School of Education.

# 10
Edward C. Green

1944 - Present (76 years)

#40372 person's overall influence

Edward C. Green is an American medical anthropologist working in public health and development. He was a senior research scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health and served as senior research scientist at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies for eight years, the last three years as director of the AIDS Prevention Project. He was later affiliated with the Department of Population and Reproductive Health at The Johns Hopkins University and the George Washington University as research professor . He was appointed to serve as a member of the Presidential Advisory C

Christopher Hann
# 11
Christopher Hann

1953 - Present (67 years)

#23862 person's overall influence

Christopher Hann is one of the founding Directors of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and a well-known British social anthropologist. He studied philosophy, politics and economics at Jesus College at Cambridge, before taking on his graduate studies at Corpus Christi College at Cambridge. As a graduate student, he focused his research on Eastern Europe, learning to speak and read Hungarian, and conducting field work in the Hungarian village of Tázlár.

Thomas Hylland Eriksen
# 12
Thomas Hylland Eriksen

1962 - Present (58 years)

#17851 person's overall influence

Thomas Hylland Eriksen is a professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo and a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. He is a scholar of identity politics, cultural dynamics, the global response to accelerating change and crisis, and the creole world. He has published numerous works, including Common Denominators: Ethnicity, Nationalism and the Politics of Compromise in Mauritius, Fredrik Barth: An Intellectual Biography, and Overheating: An Anthropology of Accelerated Change. He has also published many research articles showcasing his work, including, Confessio

René Girard
# 13
René Girard

1923 - 2015 (92 years)

#2201 person's overall influence

René Noël Théophile Girard was a French historian, literary critic, and philosopher of social science whose work belongs to the tradition of anthropological philosophy. Girard was the author of nearly thirty books, with his writings spanning many academic domains. Although the reception of his work is different in each of these areas, there is a growing body of secondary literature on his work and his influence on disciplines such as literary criticism, critical theory, anthropology, theology, psychology, mythology, sociology, economics, cultural studies, and philosophy.

Marcia C. Inhorn
# 14
Marcia C. Inhorn

1957 - Present (63 years)

#23478 person's overall influence

Marcia C. Inhorn is the William K. Lanman Jr. Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at Yale University. She earned her M.P.H. and Ph.D from the University of California at Berkeley. She is a recognized expert in gender, fertility, and women’s health. Her research into the social impacts of infertility in Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon made her the first anthropologist to conduct such a study in the Middle East.

William M. Bass
# 15
William M. Bass

1928 - Present (92 years)

#5962 person's overall influence

William M. Bass is a forensic anthropologist, famous for his work on the study of human decomposition. He earned his B.A. from the University of Virginia, his M.S. from the University of Kentucky, and his Ph.D in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania.

# 16
Laura Nader

1930 - Present (90 years)

#16243 person's overall influence

Laura Nader is an American anthropologist. She has been a Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley since 1960. She was the first woman to receive a tenure-track position in the department. She is also the sister of U.S. activist, consumer advocate, and frequent third-party candidate Ralph Nader, as well as community advocate Shafeek Nader.

Marilyn Strathern
# 17
Marilyn Strathern

1941 - Present (79 years)

#5652 person's overall influence

Marilyn Strathern was born in 1941 in North Wales. She attended Crofton Lane Primary School and Bromley High School before moving on to study Archaeology and Anthropology at Girton College. She earned her Ph.D from Girton College in 1968.

Noam Chomsky
# 18
Noam Chomsky

1928 - Present (92 years)

#40 person's overall influence

Noam Chomsky currently holds joint appointments at MIT as Institute Professor Emeritus, and the University of Arizona as Laureate Professor. Chomsky completed his university studies between the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard.

Steven Pinker
# 19
Steven Pinker

1954 - Present (66 years)

#186 person's overall influence

Cognitive scientist, linguist, and author, Steven Pinker currently holds the title of Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. Previously, Pinker taught at Stanford University at MIT. Pinker earned his bachelor’s in psychology from McGill University in 1976, and his Ph.D. in experimental psychology in 1979 at Harvard.

Daniel Miller
# 20
Daniel Miller

1954 - Present (66 years)

#15897 person's overall influence

Daniel Miller is a Professor of Anthropology at University College London. He earned his Ph.D in Anthropology and Archaeology from Cambridge University. He is the founder of University College of London’s digital anthropology program and the director of Why We Post: Global Social Media Impact Study, an international anthropological study of human social media usage. In so doing, he pioneered the study of digital anthropology, which investigates the experience of human/technology interactions. Why We Post generated a body of research that has been downloaded more than half a million times.

Michael Taussig
# 21
Michael Taussig

1940 - Present (80 years)

#7855 person's overall influence

Michael Taussig is a professor at Columbia University. He earned a medical degree from the University of Sydney and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the London School of Economics.

Bill Maurer
# 22
Bill Maurer

1968 - Present (52 years)

#19480 person's overall influence

Philippe Descola
# 23
Philippe Descola

1949 - Present (71 years)

#19241 person's overall influence

Philippe Descola is chair of anthropology at the Collège de France, most well-known for his research regarding the Achuar, an Amazonian community that was one of the last to be contacted by the outside world. He lived with and researched with the Achuar in Ecuador from 1976 to 1978.

Paul Kockelman
# 24
Paul Kockelman
#66001 person's overall influence

Paul Kockelman is the editor of the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, co-editor of The Cambridge Handbook of Linguistic Anthropology, and a professor of anthropology at Yale University. He is known as one of the last great system-builders in the anthropology field.

Jared Diamond
# 25
Jared Diamond

1937 - Present (83 years)

#779 person's overall influence

Jared Mason Diamond is an American geographer, historian, anthropologist, ornithologist, and author best known for his popular science books The Third Chimpanzee ; Guns, Germs, and Steel ; Collapse , The World Until Yesterday , and Upheaval . Originally trained in biochemistry and physiology, Diamond is known for drawing from a variety of fields, including anthropology, ecology, geography, and evolutionary biology. He is a professor of geography at UCLA.

Jean-Jacques Hublin
# 26
Jean-Jacques Hublin

1953 - Present (67 years)

#45454 person's overall influence

Jean-Jacques Hublin is a paleoanthropologist, president of the European Society for the Study of Human Evolution, and a professor of anthropology at Leiden University, Max Planck Society, and the University of Leipzig. He is also founder and director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology’s Department of Human Evolution.

Tom Boellstorff
# 27
Tom Boellstorff

1969 - Present (51 years)

#27459 person's overall influence

Tom Boellstorff is a University of California at Irvine-based anthropologist, well known and respected for his work on the anthropology of sexuality, globalization, linguistics and more. He earned bachelor’s degrees in music and linguistics and his Ph.D. in anthropology from Stanford University, where he went on to teach.

Arthur Kleinman
# 28
Arthur Kleinman

1941 - Present (79 years)

#6529 person's overall influence

Arthur Kleinman is a medical anthropologist and the Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard University. Kleinman is also the Professor of Medical Anthropology in Global Health and Social Medicine and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He earned his A.B. and M.D. from Stanford University and an M.A. in social anthropology from Harvard University. He completed his internship at the Yale School of Medicine, before completing his psychiatric residency in Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital. He is notable

Genevieve Bell
# 29
Genevieve Bell

1968 - Present (52 years)

#17273 person's overall influence

Genevieve Bell is the Florence Violet McKenzie Chair and Distinguished Professor for the ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science, a Senior Fellow at Intel, Director of the Autonomy, Agency and Assurance Institute (3A Institute) at Australian National University, and the first SRI International Engelbert Distinguished Fellow. She earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Philosophy from Bryn Mawr College. She went on to earn an additional Master’s degree and a Ph.D from Stanford University.

Didier Fassin
# 30
Didier Fassin

1955 - Present (65 years)

#70366 person's overall influence

Didier Fassin is the James D. Wolfensohn Professor of Social Science for the Institute for Advanced Study, the Chair of Public Health at the College de France, and holds Direction of Studies role in Political and Moral Anthropology at École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. He earned his M.D. from Pierre and Marie Curie University, an M.A. from the University of Paris, and a Ph.D. from École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales.

# 31
John Comaroff

1945 - Present (75 years)

#2584 person's overall influence

John Comaroff is the Hugh K. Foster Professor of African and African American Studies and of Anthropology, and Oppenheimer Research Fellow in African Studies at Harvard University. Comaroff also serves as a research professor at the American Bar Foundation. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Cape Town and his doctorate from the London School of Economics.

Maurice Bloch
# 32
Maurice Bloch

1939 - Present (81 years)

#10309 person's overall influence

Maurice Bloch is Emeritus Professor at the London School of Economics. He was born in France in 1939. After his father, serving in the French army, was killed by the Nazis, he moved with his mother and her new husband to England. He completed his undergraduate education at the London School of Economics and earned his Ph.D in anthropology at Fitzwilliam College of Cambridge University.

Amber Case
# 33
Amber Case

1987 - Present (33 years)

#52021 person's overall influence

Amber Case is an American cyborg anthropologist, user experience designer and public speaker. She studies the interaction between humans and technology.

Eric Gans
# 34
Eric Gans

1941 - Present (79 years)

#16232 person's overall influence

Eric Lawrence Gans is an American literary scholar, philosopher of language, and cultural anthropologist. Since 1969, he has taught, and published on, 19th century literature, critical theory, and film in the UCLA Department of French and Francophone studies.

Jean Comaroff
# 35
Jean Comaroff

1946 - Present (74 years)

#2504 person's overall influence

Jean Comaroff is Professor of African and African American Studies and of Anthropology, Oppenheimer Fellow in African Studies at Harvard University. She is an expert on the effects of colonialism on people in Southern Africa. Until 2012, Jean was the Bernard E. & Ellen C. Sunny Distinguished Service Professor of Anthropology and of Social Sciences at the University of Chicago and Honorary Professor of Anthropology at the University of Cape Town.

Montgomery McFate
# 36
Montgomery McFate

1966 - Present (54 years)

#38499 person's overall influence

Montgomery McFate is the Minerva Chair of Strategic Research at the U.S. Naval War College. She earned her B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, a Ph.D from Yale University, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

# 37
Rayna Rapp

1946 - Present (74 years)

#10275 person's overall influence

Rayna Rapp is a professor and associate chair of anthropology at New York University, specializing in gender and health; the politics of reproduction; science, technology, and genetics; and disability in the United States and Europe. She has contributed over 80 published works to the field of anthropology, independently, as a co-author, editor, and foreword-writing, including Robbie Davis-Floyd and Carolyn Sargent's Childbirth and Authoritative Knowledge. Her 1999 book,Testing Women, Testing the Fetus: the Social Impact of Amniocentesis in America, received multiple awards upon release and ha

# 38
Mitchell Duneier

1961 - Present (59 years)

#29787 person's overall influence

Mitchell Duneier is an American sociologist and ethnographer. He is currently Maurice P. During Professor and department chair of Sociology at Princeton University and is also a regular Visiting Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

# 39
Michael Tomasello

1950 - Present (70 years)

#4437 person's overall influence

Michael Tomasello is an American developmental and comparative psychologist, as well as a linguist. He is co-director of Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, co-director of the Wolfgang Kohler Primate Research Center, honorary professor at University of Leipzig and at Manchester University's Department of Psychology, and professor of psychology at Duke University.

# 40
Michael Silverstein

1945 - 2020 (75 years)

#8412 person's overall influence

Michael Silverstein was an American linguist. He was the Charles F. Grey Distinguished Service Professor of anthropology, linguistics, and psychology at the University of Chicago. He was a theoretician of semiotics and linguistic anthropology. Over the course of his career he created an original synthesis of research on the semiotics of communication, the sociology of interaction, Russian formalist literary theory, linguistic pragmatics, sociolinguistics, early anthropological linguistics and structuralist grammatical theory, together with his own theoretical contributions, yielding a compreh

Louise Lamphere
# 41
Louise Lamphere

1940 - Present (80 years)

#8174 person's overall influence

Louise Lamphere is a feminist anthropologist and Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico. She earned her Ph.D. from Harvard University. Her research interests have included feminist anthropology, gender, de-industrialization, and urban anthropology. She has published extensively on Native American issues, such as kinship and cooperation, and on issues such as working mothers, immigration and women’s lives and remains active in her advocacy on behalf of feminist causes.

# 42
Kamari Maxine Clarke

1966 - Present (54 years)

#48995 person's overall influence

Maxine Kamari Clarke is a Canadian-American scholar with family roots in Jamaica. As of 2020, she is a professor at the Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies and the Centre for Diaspora & Transnational Studies at the University of Toronto.

Jane Goodall
# 43
Jane Goodall

1934 - Present (86 years)

#588 person's overall influence

Dame Jane Morris Goodall , formerly Baroness Jane van Lawick-Goodall, is an English primatologist and anthropologist. Considered to be the world's foremost expert on chimpanzeess, Goodall is best known for her 60-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees since she first went to Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania in 1960.

# 44
Merrill Singer

1950 - Present (70 years)

#60296 person's overall influence

Merrill Singer is a medical anthropologist and a professor at the University of Connecticut. At the University of Connecticut, he teaches anthropology and community medicine. He earned his M.A. from California State University, Northridge and a Ph.D in anthropology from the University of Utah.

Aleksandar Boskovic
# 45
Aleksandar Boskovic

1962 - Present (58 years)

#61698 person's overall influence

Aleksandar Bošković is an anthropologist from former Yugoslavia, who wrote or edited fifteen books and several hundred articles on history and theory of anthropology, mostly from a transactionalist and comparative perspective. In 2018/2019 he was a Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Lyon. Together with his fellow colleague and economics professor John Hamman , Bošković organized a two-day conference about rationality, at the University of Lyon, on 10–11 April 2019.

# 46
Bruce Kapferer

1940 - Present (80 years)

#38068 person's overall influence

Bruce Kapferer is an Australian anthropologist.

# 47
Barbara Rylko-Bauer

1950 - Present (70 years)

#95782 person's overall influence

Barbara Rylko-Bauer is a medical anthropologist and adjunct associate professor at Michigan State University. She earned a degree in microbiology from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D from the University of Kentucky. Her research and study efforts have focused on inequities in health care, social suffering, human rights, the Holocaust, and violence.

# 48
C. Loring Brace

1930 - 2019 (89 years)

#2742 person's overall influence

Charles Loring Brace IV was an American anthropologist, Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan's Department of Anthropology and Curator Emeritus at the University's Museum of Anthropological Archaeology. He considered the attempt "to introduce a Darwinian outlook into biological anthropology" to be his greatest contribution to the field of anthropology.

# 49
Melford Spiro

1920 - 2014 (94 years)

#9789 person's overall influence

Melford Elliot "Mel" Spiro was an American cultural anthropologist specializing in religion and psychological anthropology. He is known for his critiques of the pillars of contemporary anthropological theory—wholesale cultural determinism, radical cultural relativism, and virtually limitless cultural diversity—and for his emphasis on the theoretical importance of unconscious desires and beliefs in the study of stability and change in social and cultural systems, particularly in respect to the family, politics, and religion. Explicated in numerous theoretical publications, they are empiricall...

# 50
Roy D'Andrade

1931 - 2016 (85 years)

#17926 person's overall influence

Roy Goodwin D'Andrade was one of the founders of cognitive anthropology.