Dr. Kimberly Wieser is a professor at the University of Oklahoma who teaches English and is an affiliated faculty member with Native American Studies and Environmental Studies. She also serves as the National Director of Native Writers Circle of the Americas, as well as President of the Board of Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. Dr. Wieser is currently working on a book called Back to the Blanket: Recovered Rhetorics and American Indian Studies with OU Press, expected to be out in the spring of 2017. She also is in revisions on her poetry manuscript “Texas . . . to Get Horses”.
Tell us about yourself.
When we interviewed Dr. Wieser, she shared with us that she and her partner Rance
have three children at home: Rachel, Marley, and Nia. She has one son in Texas, Cody, who is father to her first grandchild, Case. She also greatly enjoys participating in the community at Norman First American United Methodist Church, which holds frequent community activities. Dr. Wieser and her family also participate in traditional American Indian ceremonies around the state and nation. As part of her work with Wordcraft, she is involved in efforts to build literacy models for outreach throughout the Indian Country in the US and Canada. The silver anniversary event for the organization is planned for July 6-9, 2017 at OU. She is also passionate about helping homeless people across the nation. She said, “They are dear to my heart. Sometimes all it takes is asking their name and being human with them for a moment to help them in some small way.”
What got you interested in the Crossroads Film Festival?
“As soon as my amazing colleague Joshua Nelson began this festival a few years back, I was hooked! Bringing great American films here where we have thirty-nine sovereign nations —Norman having the third highest per capita American Indian urban population in the country—is great for us all!”
How can students get involved with you and your efforts?
“Join Wordcraft! We’d love to have more American Indian and indigenous writers and are open to writers of all backgrounds. We’ve been doing playwright workshops at Jacobson House and have other writing workshops and activities in all genres. There are even film writing and comic book writing panels planned for RTG 25! In Wordcraft, you can get and GIVE help. We’re a family. We even teach young mentees to interact with elders and help them back by assisting us with things like technology as we help you with writing and getting published.”
What is the biggest thing you want the OU community, especially students, to know about Native Identity, Crossroads Film Festival, and your work?
Native identity is about seeing the world as a network of respectful, reciprocal relationships that have to be renewed by coming together and actually spending real time together, old time visiting, what people call ‘being present’ today.
This film festival, for those of us who approach the world this way, is a family reunion of sorts, with some of that family yet unknown. We get together, laugh and cry as we watch these fabulous films and celebrate these filmmakers’ giving back to the world with their work. As for my work, I do it because I love my students. They are the best students in the world.”