Dr. Laurie Brinklow takes over as Island Studies Chair/MAIS Coordinator

Charlottetown, PEI (April 25, 2022)—  

The University of Prince Edward Island is pleased to announce the appointment of Assistant Professor Dr. Laurie Brinklow as the new Coordinator of the Master of Arts in Island Studies (MAIS) program and Chair of the Institute of Island Studies (IIS). She has been carrying out the roles in an interim capacity since May 1, 2020, with the retirement of Dr. James Randall. 

Dr. Brinklow is no stranger to Island Studies, serving as IIS Publishing Coordinator and research project administrator in the 1990s and 2000s, Coordinator of the IIS and UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability from 2014 to 2020, and as a sessional instructor in the MAIS program since 2014. She herself completed the Master of Arts in Island Studies program in 2007 and went on to do her PhD in Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Tasmania. Founder of Charlottetown’s Acorn Press, she has published widely in academia and has two volumes of poetry, the most recent being My island’s the house I sleep in at night (Island Studies Press). She is Secretary of the International Small Island Studies Association and Iceland’s Honorary Consul to Prince Edward Island.  

Says Dr. Brinklow, “I owe a huge debt of gratitude to all those who came before me with their own visions for Island Studies: people like Harry Baglole, Brent MacLaine, Godfrey Baldacchino, Jim Randall, Ed MacDonald, Jean Mitchell. They are my mentors and inspirations in this Island Studies journey. And getting to meet islanders from around the world, to be part of a huge Island Studies family – what better way to spend one’s life?”  

As MAIS Coordinator, she hopes to continue to grow the program, solidifying UPEI’s reputation as the premier academic institution in Island Studies. Boasting over 60 graduates and 65 local and international students coming from as far away as England, Taiwan, Egypt, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Nigeria, the interdisciplinary program focuses on island tourism, sustainability, international relations, and public policy on Prince Edward Island and other islands. As Chair of the IIS, she will continue to build on networks and collaborations with UPEI colleagues, government departments, and other institutions in Canada and around the world, being a bridge between the University and the community and focusing on PEI’s economic, environmental, and cultural health and well-being. She will continue to help Island Studies Press’s Bren Simmers produce award-winning publications that celebrate the Island’s culture and stories. And she will continue to work closely with Dr. Jean Mitchell, UPEI’s UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability, to expand small islands’ sustainability across intersecting socio-economic, cultural, aesthetic, and environmental domains in the Pacific and Caribbean. Dr. Brinklow’s own research explores “islandness” and people’s attachment to islands through the language of art in Tasmania, Newfoundland, and other north Atlantic islands. 

The mother of two daughters and soon-to-be four grandchildren, Laurie lives in Charlottetown with her musician husband Michael Mooney and cat Alvin– when she’s not travelling to other islands. 

Media contact:
Bren Simmers Island Studies Press