IAIA’s MFA in Creative Writing in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), like other institutions of higher learning, has been contending with uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a department within IAIA, the MFA CW follows the guidance and policy as administered by IAIA President, Dr. Robert Martin. We have decided, with IAIA’s administration, that our Summer MFA CW Residency, scheduled for July 19–15, will be replaced with a Digital Residency. While not ideal, we feel this shift in programming is necessary for the safety and wellness of our students and the communities we serve. Making this decision now, even amidst the uncertainty of how the pandemic will look in two months, allows us all to plan proactively towards a productive and positive experience.
As the IAIA MFA CW is a distance learning program, our educational model has not been impacted in the same way as full residency programs. Transforming our on-campus residency this summer into a digital experience will allow for a different, but equally as enriching educational opportunity.
While the structure of this Digital Residency is still being refined and we will be communicating more details by mid-May, it is important to know that all new and returning students will still be enrolled in the 3-credit “Residency” course this summer, enabling them to initiate or proceed with the 48-credit, two-year course of study towards their MFA.
Digital Residency General Structure
Summer offerings on “HUB” will begin June 1, 2020. HUB is our program’s common Canvas course, in which all new students will be enrolled by June 1. MFA CW staff will regularly post content on HUB and engage students through a series of live-streamed and asynchronous programming up until the start of Digital Residency in July. These offerings include but are not limited to Digital Orientation, Zoom Meet and Greet, Open Critique, Craft Talk Discussion, and asynchronous instruction on craft essays.
The 2020 IAIA MFA CW Digital Residency will take place during the month of July, hosted via Zoom Livestream and supplemented with asynchronous course materials. We plan to offer group workshops, craft talks, and writing labs. All residency programming, such as lectures and readings by our Mentors, will be recorded and posted to the IAIA MFA CW HUB. These lectures, readings, and assignments can be done at the student’s own pace throughout the month of July. However, students will be required to attend their assigned writing workshops with others in their genre cohort via Zoom livestream. These six-day workshops will be similar to what you would be enrolled in for the on-campus residency week, but will be spread out over the month. Workshop instructors will determine the time and format of these meetings, but students will still engage in the 15 hours of workshop interface with peers. The Digital Residency will involve ample opportunities to meet with your peers and mentors, and to prepare you for the Fall Mentorship course. While there is no replacement for the in-person experience of our residencies on IAIA’s campus in Santa Fe, we are excited for the community we can build together online this summer.
After the completion of AY 19–20 on May 19, 2020, MFA CW staff will host Zoom meetings to address any questions or concerns before we begin Summer Offerings on June 1, 2020. Zoom meeting details are pasted below.
MFA CW is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting
- Topic: Office Hours for New and Returning Students
- Time: Tuesday, May 26, 2020, 6 pm, Eastern Time (US and Canada)
- Time:Thursday, May 28, 2020, 6 pm, Eastern Time (US and Canada)
- Join Zoom Meeting: www.zoom.us/j/8964906946
- Meeting ID: 896 490 6946