Abstract

Action anthropology came to the fore during the 1950s and 1960s, in part as a critical response to applied anthropology’s colonial and governmental entanglements, seeking to learn from communities by collaboratively pursuing solutions to practical problems. While critical assessments of theory, method, and efficacy abound, the everyday human bonds fostered through these approaches seldom receive mention. This essay focuses on the personal and intellectual relationships Robert K. Thomas and Murray L. Wax formed with Ponca activist Clyde Warrior via the Workshop on American Indian Affairs, Carnegie Corporation Cross-Cultural Education Project, and Kansas Indian Education Research Project during the 1960s. It illuminates some of the interior dimensions of these two expressions of public-facing engaged scholarship.1

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