Institute of Island Studies

The Institute of Island Studies is a research, education, and public policy institute based at the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada. The work of the Institute focuses on the culture, environment, and economy of small islands, with an emphasis on Prince Edward Island.


To be the leading centre of excellence on issues related to island studies scholarship, public policy, and engagement.

· To encourage a deep knowledge, understanding, and expression of Prince Edward Island;
· To serve as a bridge between the University and Island communities;
· To contribute to the formulation of public policy in Prince Edward Island;
· To undertake and facilitate island studies research and education at local, national, and global scales.

Since its founding in June 1985, the principal activity of the Institute of Island Studies has been the initiation and co-ordination of research projects and public engagement activities. Areas of special interest have included Island culture, sustainable development, land use, and the knowledge economy. The topics dealt with have ranged from the present state of the Gaelic language on Prince Edward Island to a profile of traditional agricultural practices.

The Institute of Island Studies has a strong Governance structure, consisting of Executive and Advisory Committees, guided by established Purposes and Procedures and a Strategic Plan. Learn more

The Institute of Island Studies has an active Research Associates program. IIS Research Associates are outstanding scholars whose research is congruent with the Institute’s mandate, and we are proud to have Research Associates from a variety of disciplines from around the world.

The Island Studies constellation at UPEI also includes the Master of Arts in Island Studies program, which is an interdisciplinary, and policy-driven graduate program that critiques islands on their own terms, as well as an undergraduate Minor in Island Studies.

In partial fulfillment of its public policy mandate, the Institute organizes public forums and lectures on major contemporary issues such as environmental policy, water quality, land use, economic development, and electoral reform. The Institute also sponsors workshops, seminars, and conferences. An integral part of its work focuses on the fourth part of our mandate, which links the local and the global. While firmly rooted in Prince Edward Island, the IIS has become a global centre for small islands research and development.

The Institute of Island Studies is committed to contributing to the formulation and enhancement of public policy applied to small islands and, in particular, to Prince Edward Island. To that end, we will use our resources to engage stakeholders on current and topical island issues via public symposia, lectures, policy papers, and research projects. We will strive to be inclusive and take an objective, evidence-based approach to island issues, serving as a forum for collaboration and consensus among those with differing points of view.

The publisher associated with the Institute of Island Studies, Island Studies Press, produces scholarly books for a popular audience as well as poetry, literary non-fiction, and drama, dealing with aspects of the culture and environment of Prince Edward Island and beyond. Learn more

Our online library includes an extensive list of reports and papers stemming from our work since 1985. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please contact us.

Additionally, the Institute of Island Studies was the founding institutional home of Island Studies Journal (ISJ), an open-access scholarly journal dedicated to the study of islands, from 2005–2021. In 2021, ISJ moved to its new institutional home at Fróðskaparsetur Føroya/University of the Faroe Islands, and the Institute of Island Studies and University of Prince Edward Island remain proud supporters of the journal. Learn more

You can support the Institute of Island Studies and the work of the Island Studies constellation at UPEI by making a charitable donation through the University’s website. Learn more here

TWITTER · Facebook · Instagram · YouTube · NEWSLETTER

© 2021 Institute of Island Studies, University of Prince Edward Island. All rights reserved.