Anti-Thesis is a second season episode of the television series Law & Order: Criminal Intent. For the first time, character Nicole Wallace/Elizabeth Hitchens appears in the series.
In this episode, Detectives Goren and Eames investigate the murders of a university president and his assistant.
During the investigation, Goren and Eames focus their attention on a controversial African-American professor who wants a promotion for a department chairmanship. At first, the professor seems the most likely suspect because he had accused the victim of being a racist. But the team soon become suspicious of an underachieving grad student, who has had working for a long time on his grade thesis, which also benefits him if that professor gets the promotion. The short list of suspects include the student's girlfriend, a visiting professor with a shady element in her past.
As the campus investigation continues, Goren and Eames suspect that at least two of the possible culprits might be romantically entangled which results in a third murder. After that, they discover that the main culprit is a highly shrewd adversary who has more than these crimes to hide. This episode introduces ongoing character Nicole Wallace.
- Harvard University's undergraduate student newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, suggested in October 2002 that the episode's premise was lifted from the nationally-publicized, real-life squabble between HU president Lawrence Summers and African-American Studies Professor Cornel West. In real life, West wears an afro haircut and goatee, teaches American Studies, and was criticized by HU president for releasing a rap music album. Like West, the fictional Professor Sanders of the history wears an afro haircut and goatee, teaches American Studies, and is criticized by fictional President Winthrop for releasing a rap album.
- Sanders is the name of the largest lecture hall on Harvard's campus, while Winthrop is a traditional Boston family name with long ties to the Harvard campus. In the episode, Winthrop quotes a line of dialogue almost identical to a sentence attributed to Summers. According to the professor, the sentence reflects the charges of racism against criticism of the spoken word.