Field Studies consists of two programs: Field Studies Grand Manan (2015-) and Southwest Field Studies (2017-). Details on both of these exciting programs are below.
GRAND MANAN FIELD STUDIES
The Field Studies in Writing Program on Grand Manan brings students from the University of Arizona Creative Writing Program to Grand Manan Island in the Canadian Maritimes over the course of five summers (2015-2019).The pilot program is made possible by the appointment of Professor Alison Hawthorne Deming as Agnese Nelms Haury Chair in Environment and Social Justice. On the island students work on research and writing to create place-based literature that explores how the arts and literature can contribute to our understanding of environment and climate change. With a population of 2500 year-round residents, Grand Manan has a 200-year history of traditional fisheries, now undergoing profound changes due to decline of fish–and recently a dramatic increase in lobsters—in the North Atlantic. The project engages with island youth to mentor them in telling their stories of coming of age in this place where sustainability of the local culture is deeply tied to the sustainability of marine life.
Herring Weir, Grand Manan
The Field Studies Program is available by application to all current UA MFA candidates in any genre. Students whose thesis projects explore environment, social justice, border issues, sustainability and community are encouraged to apply. Funding covers travel, lodging and per diem. Field trips on site may include visits to traditional herring weirs, lobster tank houses, fish-smoking sheds, bird-nesting islands, sea kayaking, whale watching with the island’s marine biologist, local museum and hiking cliffside wilderness trails.
Francisco Cantú at work on Kent Island (photo credit Peter Cunningham)
Lawron Ingersoll, Alison Deming, Michael Brown, Harley Cary, Mackenzie Russell on Kent Island
FIELD STUDIES SOUTHWEST (click blog > Southwest Field Studies)
In 2017 the University of Arizona Creative Writing Program launched a companion program, Field Studies Southwest, supported by the Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice. MFA students spend two weeks in southern Arizona exploring how literary and documentary arts can create humane responses to environmental, social justice and border issues in the region. The new southwest project is coordinated by recent MFA alumnus (and Grand Manan Field Studies alum) Francisco Cantú and Associate Professor Susan Briante. Participants work in collaboration with the Borderlands Earth Care Youth Institute, a program sponsored by the Borderlands Habitat Institute, engaging culturally diverse youth in hands-on restoration work of the local ecosystem while providing leadership and educational opportunities. Students also visit migrant shelters, the Border Community Alliance, and other organizations working for social justice on the border.
The Field Studies Program is available by application to all current UA MFA candidates in any genre. Students whose thesis projects explore environment, social justice, border issues, sustainability and community are encouraged to apply. Funding covers travel, lodging and per diem.