Past Events

Past Events

Celebrating Poetry Month: Laurie Brinklow and Bren Simmers in conversation with Richard Lemm

APRIL 27, 2021 – 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

For our April Island Lecture Series session, we celebrated Poetry Month and launched two new books of poetry from Laurie Brinklow and Bren Simmers. Laurie and Bren each read some excerpts from their new books, and were joined in conversation by Richard Lemm, who brought some great questions and lots of laughs.


Learning from Financial Crisis: Towards Sustainable Island Futures for Iceland and Newfoundland & Labrador

MARCH 30, 2021 – 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

For our March Island Lecture Series session, Prof. Mark Stoddart and Dr. Ásthildur Elva Bernharðsdóttir discuss the financial crises of Iceland (2008–2009) and Newfoundland & Labrador (currently). What have these experiences had in common and what lessons can they teach us?


MAIS THESIS DEFENSE
Factors influencing change in the Prince Edward Island Lobster Fishery

MARCH 4, 2021 – 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Master of Arts in Island Studies student Ian McIsaac recently defended his thesis, “Factors influencing change in the Prince Edward Island Lobster Fishery” via Zoom. The session was recorded and is now available to stream on the Institute of Island Studies YouTube channel.


Music-Making and the Experience of Community Life on an Irish Island

JANUARY 19, 2021 – 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Irish ethnomusicologist Dr. Rory McCabe joined us live from Clare Island, Ireland, to discuss music-making as a fundamental part of island community life and an important measure of island vitality.


Writing the Island with JoDee Samuelson

OCTOBER 20, 2020 – 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Join us for an evening with JoDee Samuelson, author of The Cove Journal, as she reads from her collection of essays about life on the South Shore of Prince Edward Island. JoDee will also be joined by Bren Simmers (Island Studies PressPivot Point) in a conversation about her inspiration for the book, her writing process, and the art of place-based writing.


Islands and COVID-19 Recovery Plans: Promoting Resilience and Sustainability

SEPTEMBER 1, 2020 – 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

In this virtual panel, Dr. Jim Randall (UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability) and Dr. Francesco Sindico (Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance) were joined by representatives from islands around the world to share lessons on how islands are demonstrating resilience as they respond to COVID-19 and discuss the challenges and opportunities that communities are navigating around the world and right here on Prince Edward Island.


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[Press Release] Island Studies leader Dr. Jim Randall retires

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (July 6, 2021) —

After nine years as Coordinator of the Master of Arts in Island Studies (MAIS) program and Chair of the Institute of Island Studies (IIS) Executive Committee, Jim Randall is retiring. 

Professor Emeritus Jim Randall

Trained as an economic and urban geographer, this native of Ontario moved with his family from the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George to Prince Edward Island in 2010 to take up the post of VP Academic at UPEI. In 2012 he became Coordinator of the MAIS program, teaching in the MAIS and Island Studies Minor programs and undertaking  a supervisory role for several Master’s students. When Jim arrived, the MAIS program had 28 thesis students and 21 graduates. Since 2018 when he introduced the work/study program, enrolment has more than doubled and MAIS alumni now total 50. More than half of incoming MAIS students are now international students. Students and staff agree that the current success of the program is due to Jim’s vision, persistence, and hard work.

As Chair of the IIS Executive Committee, Jim built on the Institute’s reputation as an “honest broker” that is recognized for doing research that contributes to evidence-based policymaking. This led to a collaboration with the Community Foundation of Prince Edward Island to research and produce the 2019 Vital Signs report that went into households across the Island, as well as various research contracts with the Government of PEI. The most recent, to undertake a four-year “Indicators of Well-being” study with the Government of PEI, is now under way with a province-wide survey set to launch in the fall.

Jim was named UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability co-chair (with Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino from the University of Malta) from 2016 to 2020 and became sole Chair in 2020. Throughout that time, he has demonstrated true leadership, securing several research contracts with funding from the Government of PEI, ACOA, the Foreign Affairs Office of Hainan Province, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CC UNESCO), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC), among others. His most recent project is curating a series of 24 COVID-19 Island Insights papers from islands around the globe in collaboration with the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance and Island Innovation. The papers form the basis of a policy initiative that will be presented at COP-26 in Glasgow in November.

The author of dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, Jim is Executive Editor of and contributor to the Annual Report on Global Islands 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020, published in affiliation with the Foreign Affairs Office of Hainan Province. His groundbreaking textbook, An Introduction to Island Studies, was published in 2021 with Island Studies Press and Rowman & Littlefield.

Jim was presented with the Faculty Association’s Merit Award for Outstanding Service in 2019, and UPEI’s Katherine Schultz Research Recognition Award in 2018. Upon his retirement, the University bestowed upon him with the well-earned designation of Professor Emeritus. As Dr. Ed MacDonald (History, UPEI) wrote in his nomination letter, “As someone who has been involved with the Institute of Island Studies since 1986 and with the MAIS program since its inception two decades ago, I think I can speak with some authority when I praise the tremendous contributions that he has made to those two, closely related enterprises. He has devoted his considerable energy and abilities to both, and both have prospered under his leadership.”

A builder and visionary, Jim Randall has left a legacy that will stand Island Studies @ UPEI in good stead for years to come. But we know Jim won’t be a stranger: fortunately, he and his wife Brenda have decided to continue to call PEI home. And he’s already agreed to lend his expertise to ongoing projects, and will continue to be part of the Island Studies family.

Congratulations, Jim, on a well-earned retirement!

##

Media contact:
Dave Atkinson
Communications Officer
Marketing and Communications, University of Prince Edward Island
datkinson@upei.ca | (902) 620-5117


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