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:
Anna MacDonald
Communications Officer
Marketing and Communications, University of Prince Edward Island
amacdonald@upei.ca | (902)-566-0949


[Research] Retention on PEI: A Survey

March 29, 2022 —

The Institute of Island Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island is working with the Department of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture to better understand population mobility and retention on Prince Edward Island. We want to know the factors that have led to the outmigration of PEI residents as well as those factors that have prompted PEI residents to remain in the province. Hearing from both those who have left and those who have stayed is important. In the end, the key motivation is to improve retention of newcomers. What we learn will feed into the next population strategy.

Researchers have created two online surveys: one for current PEI residents and one for former PEI residents. Says Dr. Laurie Brinklow, Interim Chair of the Institute of Island Studies, “All of us who live on PEI know stories about why some people leave the Island and some people stay, but we don’t have any concrete data to back this up. This is why we’re hoping to hear from as many people as possible through these two surveys. Reaching those who have left is going to be the most challenging, so once you’ve filled it out, if you know people who have moved, we’d love it if you could forward the link to them.”

The deadline for the completing survey is midnight April 15. Participants have the opportunity to enter a draw for one of fifty (50) $15 gift cards.


Population Retention Survey – Current PEI Residents: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PopulationRetentionCurrentResidentsofPEI

Population Retention Survey – Former PEI Residents: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PopulationRetentionFormerResidentsofPEI

DEADLINE: April 15

Please feel free to pass along these links to other current and former PEI residents who might be interested in sharing their thoughts on why they have remained on PEI, or why they moved away. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Laurie Brinklow at brinklow@upei.ca or Jim Randall at jarandall@upei.ca

Island Lecture: Trade in the Nicobar Islands with Shaina Sehgal March 2022

ISLAND LECTURE SERIES | MARCH 2022
Trade in the Nicobar Islands
Shaina Sehgal March 2022
Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022 · 1pm AST (UTC-4)
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In the second installment of our Island Lecture Series, Shaina Sehgal presents some of the findings from her Ph.D. research on the Nicobar Islands. The Nicobar Islands is a little-known archipelago in the eastern Indian ocean. However, these islands were ports-of-call along the ancient sea route from West Asia to South-East Asia and reported by traders and sea-farers throughout history. In this talk, Sehgal sketches the trading world of the Nicobar Islands between the 18th and 19th centuries. Analysis of historical texts, maps and images from this period shows the connection between seasonal trade within the archipelago and trade with the Nicobar Islands. This study concludes that these islands were a site of sustained contact within the bustling Indian Ocean world until the early 20th century.

ABOUT OUR SPEAKERS

Shaina Sehgal is an interdisciplinary scholar who has studied the social and environmental issues across diverse and challenging terrains across India (mountains, forests, and islands) over the past decade as a graduate student and researcher at Ambedkar University Delhi, India. Her Ph.D. in Human Ecology examined trade, agriculture, development and governance in the Nicobar Islands, using archival research, quantitative data analysis, social network analysis, and ethnographic research.

MAIS News: Student Awards

MAIS Students Win SSHRCC Awards

We are pleased to announce that two of our MAIS students, Greg Elison and Alyssa M. J. Gillespie, are receiving awards from last year’s Canada Graduate Scholarships Master’s Program Competition from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC)!

Congratulations, Alyssa and Greg!


Greg Elison: MAIS Thesis Student. Thesis title “The Path to Carbon Neutrality – Community Based Renewable Energy on Prince Edward Island”

Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Greg received his Bachelor of Arts with Honours from Mount Allison University in International Relations and a double minor in Economics and History.

As a thesis student in the MAIS program, he has chosen to focus his research on regional development, economic decarbonization, and Islandness with the hopes of utilizing this interdisciplinary approach to explore the socio-economic factors that facilitate community renewable energy expansion on Prince Edward Island.

Alyssa M. J. Gillespie: MAIS Thesis student. Thesis title “Roots, Routes, and Rural Youth Retention on Prince Edward Island”.

Alyssa is a born and raised P.E.Islander with an undergraduate degree in Anthropology and English from the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI). As a Master of Arts in Island Studies thesis student, she is applying her degree to the study of rural youth on Prince Edward Island and their migratory habits.

Alyssa’s scholarly pursuits are anchored in her passion for child and youth studies, culture, and relation to place, and she has a particular interest in creative writing, specifically poetry. She has worked with the L.M. Montgomery Institute, housed in the Robertson Library of UPEI, since the fall of 2019 as an editorial assistant for the Journal of L.M. Montgomery Studies.

NEWS: Dr. Jean Mitchell named UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (January 20, 2022)

Dr. Katherine Gottschall-Pass, interim vice-president academic and research at UPEI, has announced the appointment of Dr. Jean Mitchell as the next UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability at the University. Dr. Mitchell is an associate professor of anthropology at UPEI with extensive research and project experience in Indonesia, India, and the South Pacific nations of Kiribati, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu. In the role as UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability, Dr. Mitchell will take a broad perspective on small islands’ sustainability across the intersecting socio-economic, cultural, aesthetic, and environmental domains. Among other things, she will serve as an effective conduit for transferring innovative ideas; develop connections and collaborations; and contribute to research on small islands and the training of the next generation of island studies scholars and practitioners. The long-term mission of the UNESCO Chair at UPEI is to contribute to achieving the sustainable development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). This has been a UNESCO priority since the articulation of the Millennium Development Goals in 2000. This priority was also extended to Sub-National Island Jurisdictions. The UNESCO chair is hosted by the Institute of Island Studies (IIS). Established in 1985, the IIS is a research and public policy institute based at the University of Prince Edward Island focusing on the culture, environment, and economy of small islands around the world, with emphasis on Prince Edward Island. Drs. Jim Randall and Godfrey Baldacchino were named co-chairs in 2016, and Dr. Randall took on the role of sole chair until his retirement in 2021. Details on the UNESCO Chair’s work to date can be found at islandstudies.com.

Media contact:
Anna MacDonald
Communications Officer
Marketing and Communications, University of Prince Edward Island
amacdonald@upei.ca | (902)-566-0949


Island Lecture Series: Arts and Climate Adaptation – Ilse van Dijke

ISLAND LECTURE SERIES | JANUARY 2022
Island Lecture Series: Arts and Climate Adaptation:
Ilse van Dijke
Tuesday, Jan 18, 2022 · 1:00pm – 2:00pm AST (UTC-4)
Watch video

(Hosted by the Institute of Island Studies · Jan 18, 2022)
In the first installment of the 2022 Island Lecture series, Ilse van Dijk presents the findings of the research she conducted as an intern with Island Studies and the School of Climate Change and Adaptation at UPEI. The research was funded by the Climate Sense project. In her research project, Ilse aimed to identify possibilities for the integration of artistic processes into climate change adaptation policies on Prince Edward Island.

ABOUT OUR SPEAKERS

Ilse van Dike is currently a research master’s student at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. She is following a specialization in islands and sustainability, with a particular focus on the theme of culture and climate change adaptation. Ilse recently completed a research internship with Dr. Laurie Brinklow from Island Studies and Ross Dwyer from the School of Climate Change and Adaptation. She holds a masters’ degree in human ecology from Lund University in Sweden, and a bachelors’ degree in cultural anthropology and development studies from Radboud University in the Netherlands.

Report: Two-year Timeline of COVID-19 Pandemic Impacting Islands Worldwide

From January 2020, the Global Islands Network (GIN) website2 began to source and feature articles on how COVID-19 was having disparate consequences upon islands worldwide. Over the next two years 1100 articles were posted on the GIN News Desk covering some 150 different countries, territories or local jurisdictions. All these are individually named and listed, together with regions (i.e. Caribbean, Pacific, SIDS), on the contents page so that readers can quickly identify them and their associated articles. In addition, the main purpose of this report is merely to act as a resource enabling all those who are interested to undertake further research. As you would expect, the health and economic impacts of COVID-19 upon islands predominate throughout this series of press articles. Whilst the repercussions for island tourism are manifest there are ten additional thematic areas listing articles covering multiple other topics that are specific to islands.

Read the report | Download PDF

Island Lecture Series – January 2022: “Art and Climate Change Adaptation” with Ilse Van Dijk

banner with photo of Ilse van Dijk and text saying: Island Lecture Series
Art and Climate Change Adaptation with Ilse van Dijk
Hosted by the Institute of Island Studies @ UPEI

ISLAND LECTURE SERIES | JANUARY 2022
Art and Climate Change Adaptation
Ilse Van Dijk
Tuesday, January 18th, 2021 · 1pm AST (UTC-4)
Watch video

In the first installment of the 2022 Island Lecture series, Ilse van Dijk will present the findings of the research she conducted as a research intern with Island Studies at UPEI and the School of Climate Change and Adaptation. In her research project, Ilse aimed to identify possibilities for the integration of artistic processes into climate change adaptation policies on Prince Edward Island.

Climate change and climate change adaptation are increasingly represented in the arts. Previous research has to some extent established that the resulting ‘climate art’ can perform a variety of functions, in addition to its artistic value, such as articulating difficult emotions and translating complex information. However, policymaking for climate change and adaptation does not utilize the potential of climate art. In her research project, Ilse developed a concept for the integration of artistic processes into adaptation policymaking on Prince Edward Island. The research is based on qualitative data, gathered through in-depth interviews with artists, cultural experts and climate change adaptation policymakers on Prince Edward Island.

Interested in attending? Email us at InstituteofIslandStudieUPEI@gmail.com to register!


ABOUT OUR SPEAKERS

Photo of Ilse van Dijk

Ilse Van Dijk is currently a research master’s student at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. She is following a specialization in islands and sustainability, with a particular focus on the theme of culture and climate change adaptation. IIlse recently completed a research internship with Dr. Laurie Brinklow from Island Studies and Ross Dwyer from the School of Climate Change and Adaptation. She holds a masters’ degree in human ecology from Lund University in Sweden, and a bachelors’ degree in cultural anthropology and development studies from Radboud University in the Netherlands.


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[New Publication] COVID-19 Island Insights Final Report now available!

The COVID-19 Island Insights Series is an initiative led by the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law & Governance (SCELG) and the Institute of Island Studies in collaboration with Island Innovation. The Series aims to bring together critical assessments of how specific islands around the world have performed during the COVID-19 pandemic and the extent to which their recovery plans are able to promote long term resilience and sustainability.

Text over an ariel photo of a coast line reading: COVID-19 Island Insights Series

[Press Release] IIS goes to COP26

On November 11, 2021, Island Studies went to COP – virtually! 

We were part of a hybrid event entitled Climate Change and Islands, hosted by the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance in Glasgow, along with the Institute of Island Studies at UPEI and Island Innovation.  

The event, which served as the culmination of the Island Insights Series, asked the question:  What lessons can we learn from the responses to COVID-19 when positioning islands to become more sustainable? 

Islands in countries like Scotland have the potential of showing the way forward in promoting innovation when it comes to climate change mitigation and adaptation. The event featured presentations on Scotland and climate change, renewable energy on Scotland’s islands, the effects of and legal responses to climate change on islands, and climate change from the point of view of youth and climate justice. Dr. Jim Randall, Professor Emeritus at UPEI, brought opening remarks on behalf of Island Studies at UPEI, and Dr. Laurie Brinklow, Interim Chair of the IIS, served as a discussant.

Says Dr Brinklow, “Having Island Studies and UPEI be part of the global conversation at COP26 was an opportunity not to be missed. I am proud of the work our colleagues and students have done on the COVID-19 Island Insights Series and the research we continue to do on climate change and islands. Islands are at the forefront of climate change and sea-level rise  – and, like it or not, Prince Edward Island is one of those islands. If we don’t want to be become three or four Prince Edward Islands, then we must continue to get our research out there and continue to ensure that our are heard.” 

The session recording can be found here (with the passcode kYS#ck0F).

Media contact:
Anna MacDonald
Communications Officer
Marketing and Communications, University of Prince Edward Island
amacdonald@upei.ca | (902)-566-0949