IIS News Archive (1998–2020)

This page houses an archive of the Institute of Island Studies news and updates from 1998–2020.

For our latest news and updates, click here.


December 14, 2020 —
The fourth installment of the COVID-19 Island Insights Series looks at pandemic recovery and long-term resilience and sustainability in the Okinawa Islands (Japan) and Guam.
Click here for more information

December 4, 2020 —
Share your feedback for a chance to win a book of your choice from Island Studies Press!
Complete our short survey at bit.ly/IISsurvey2020 and leave your email at the end to be entered in the draw. Giveaway/survey closes Dec 15th.
Click here for full details

November 30, 2020 —
COVID-19 ISLAND INSIGHTS SERIES: Shetland & The Åland Islands
The third installment of the COVID-19 Island Insights Series is here! This week, we are looking towards colder climates with insights from two sub-national island jurisdictions of Northern Europe: Shetland and Åland.
Click here for more information

November 16, 2020 —
COVID-19 ISLAND INSIGHTS SERIES: Grenada & Trinidad and Tobago
The second round of publications in the COVID-19 Island Insights Series is now live! This week’s reports focus on the Caribbean, with a insights from Grenada and Trinidad & Tobago.
Click here for more information

November 2, 2020 —
The first of the COVID-19 Island Insights Series is now live! This week we’re in the Mediterranean, with a focus on Malta and the Egadi Islands in Italy.
Click here for more information

October 29, 2020 —
We are very pleased to announce the upcoming launch of the COVID-19 Island Insights Series, an initiative we are collaborating on with the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law & Governance (SCELG) and Island Innovation. 
The initiative brings 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 can promote resilience and sustainability in the long term.
Click here for more information

Island Lecture Series: Writing the Island with JoDee Samuelson
Now Streaming on YouTube

The first Island Lecture Series virtual event of the season was such a delight! October’s Island Lecture Series virtual event featured Prince Edward Island filmmaker, artist, and author, JoDee Samuelson, in conversation with Island Studies Press managing editor, Bren Simmers. JoDee read us a couple of her favourite excerpts from her book, ‘The Cove Journal’, a collection of essays about life on the South Shore of Prince Edward Island, and then she and Bren had a lovely and lively conversation about inspiration, the creative process, and the art of place-based writing.

If you weren’t able to join us, or would like to rewatch and share with friends, you’re in luck — the video is now up on our YouTube Channel.
Click here for more information and watch the recording!

Annual Report on Global Islands 2019 · Virtual Launch Event (Video)

The Annual Report on Global Islands 2019 was launched at a virtual event in September 2020 hosted by the Foreign Affairs Office of Hainan Province. The launch video features interviews with a number of the authors from the 2019 Annual Report (in English), as well as presentations and commentary in Chinese with English subtitles.

Virtual Hub · Islands and COVID-19 Recovery Plans: Promoting Resilience and Sustainability (September 1, 2020)

The Institute of Island Studies was delighted to kick off a season of online programming with a Virtual Hub event discussing Islands and COVID-19 Recovery Plans: Promoting Resilience and Sustainability, hosted via Zoom on September 1st. In this virtual panel, island representatives from around the world shared lessons on how islands are demonstrating resilience as they respond to COVID-19, discussed the challenges and opportunities that communities are navigating here on Prince Edward Island.
Click here for more information and to watch the video.

The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Islands Economic Global Forum Annual Report on Global Islands 2019 is now online

The Annual Report on Global Islands 2019, published by Island Studies Press in partnership with the Foreign Affairs Office of Hainan Province, was published in July 2020 and will be launched at an upcoming virtual event (to be announced). Executive Editor-in-Chief is Dr. James Randall, working with Editor Dr. Laurie Brinklow and Designer Joan Sinclair.


SSHRC Exchange Publication Awards

Two faculty members at the University of Prince Edward Island, Laurie Brinklow and Lori Mayne, have been awarded SSHRC Exchange Publication Awards.
Two $5,000 awards are given out annually to support the publication of manuscripts written or edited by UPEI faculty in the social sciences and humanities.

Both of these books will be published by Island Studies Press in 2021. Island Studies Press would like to congratulate the award recipients and thank the University of Prince Edward Island for supporting faculty publications.

A photograph of Lori Mayne smiling

Lori Mayne‘s manuscript, co-authored with Mo Duffy-Cobb, is The Chemistry of Innovation: Regis Duffy and the Story of DCL, which shares the story behind one of Prince Edward Island’s most successful companies and brilliant entrepreneurs.

A photograph of Laurie Brinklow, simling

Laurie Brinklow‘s manuscript is a collection of poetry titled, My island’s the house I sleep in at night. Drawn from interviews with writers, artists, and musicians from Newfoundland and Tasmania, the manuscript weaves their words with her own poetic imaginings and explores the theme of ‘islandness’.

Click here for the full press release.

Insular knowledge: Building a community of islands through knowledge mobilization

James Randall, Laurie Brinklow, & Marlene Chapman · Click here for PDF

In January, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO put out a call to Canada’s network of 27 UNESCO Chairs to contribute to a series of thought papers on Knowledge Mobilization (KMb). Jim Randall submitted a Letter of Intent to look at KMb specifically as it relates to islands, and we were one of six submissions selected. Working to a tight deadline, we carried out focus groups in the Atlantic region, the central Great Lakes region, and Canada’s west coast asking questions about the ways and means island groups and organizations get research results and other information out to the general public. We wanted to find out if KMb on islands is different on islands. We found that, yes, it is, and came up with some recommendations to address the gaps.

The paper underwent a rigorous peer-review process, with input from over 50 individuals from Canada and around the globe, and the project is now complete. The process embodies the spirit of knowledge mobilization. A huge thank you goes out to those islanders who contributed to the paper.

Island responses to COVID-19: An update

Over the past several weeks, friends at the University of Strathclyde have been gathering information from around the world about how islands have been responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Fransceso Sindico, Co-Director of the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance, along with James Ellsmoor from Island Innovation and several colleagues circulated a questionnaire as widely as possible.

We are pleased to share the latest version of the data collated by SCELG and Island Innovation on Islands and Covid-19, as well as a user-friendly guide to how islands around the world are dealing with the pandemic.


Island Studies Press books receive top awards

Listening for the Dead Bells by Marian Bruce received the Publication of the Year Award from the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation at the awards ceremony at Eptek Art & Culture Centre in Summerside on Islander Day, February 17. Each year this prize is awarded to an individual or group responsible for a publication or presentation making a significant contribution to the understanding of any aspect of the heritage of Prince Edward Island. Marian’s collection of folklore about ghosts, witches, seers, and forerunners aims to nurture the storytelling tradition on PEI and inspire others to collect more tales before they are forgotten. Congratulations, Marian!

Mammals of Prince Edward Island and Adjacent Marine Mammals by Rosemary Curley, Pierre-Yves Daoust, Donald F. McAlpine, Kimberly Riehl, and J. Dan McAskill won the 2020 City of Summerside Culture and Heritage Award – Natural Heritage Activities. The award was given out at the Mayor’s Annual Heritage Tea on February 21. Congratulations to Rosemary and team!

Summerside councillor Carrie Adams and Mayor Basil Stewart present the Natural Heritage Activity Award to Rosemary Curley, who headed up the research and publication of Mammals of Prince Edward Island and Adjacent Marine Waters alongside collaborators Kimberly Riehl and Pierre-Yves Daoust at City Hall on Friday, February 21. (Photo by Alison Jenkins)

Author and researcher Doug Sobey receives Award of Honour

Dr. Doug Sobey, co-author (with Earle Lockerby) of the award-winning Samuel Holland: His Work and Legacy (Island Studies Press, 2015), took home top prize at this year’s PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation Awards: the prestigious Award of Honour. The award was presented in recognition of a lifetime of work studying and sharing the Island’s natural and human heritage.  Recognized for a long career researching the Island’s Acadian Forests, Doug has had a long association with the IIS, serving for many years as a dedicated IIS Research Associate. 

Click here to check out his interview with CBC Radio’s Matt Rainnie on March 2.

John Cousins wins Boyde Beck Memorial Award

John Cousins, IIS Research Associate and author of the award-winning New London: The Lost Dream (Island Studies Press, 2016) took home the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation’s Boyde Beck Memorial Award in recognition of a lifetime of collecting, studying, and sharing folklore. A retired high school history teacher, John taught Island Folklore and Folksongs as part of UPEI’s Minor in Island Studies.

Vital Signs report provides snapshot of the quality of life on PEI

A new report from the IIS in partnership with the Community Foundation of PEI (CFPEI) provides a snapshot of the quality of life and well-being on Prince Edward Island. Vital Signs brings together publicly available research data, the analysis of subject experts, and focus group feedback from private, public, and not-for-profit sectors from different regions of the Island. The result is an easy-to-digest, comprehensive look at a wide range of interconnected topics from health to housing to education and the environment.  

To learn more and to read the report, visit islandstudies.com/vital-signs-signes-vitaux 

October 2019
PEI-Tasmania Writers’ Exchange hosts Tasmanian writer, Dr. Terry Whitebeach

Dr. Terry Whitebeach is an esteemed Australian young-adult novelist, biographer and historian, poet, creative writing mentor, community developer, and social activist from Tasmania. She was the UPEI Writer in Residence in the fall 2019 semester. Her residency was sponsored by the UPEI Dean of Arts, Institute of Island Studies, and English Department.

During her residency, Dr. Whitebeach gave a public reading in The Carriage House at Beaconsfield in Charlottetown, and led a creative writing workshop at UPEI.

Click here to learn more about Dr. Whitebeach and her residency.

Island Studies Press launches new book by Marian Bruce: Listening for the Dead Bells
SEPTEMBER 22, 2019
2 to 4 pm | Sir Andrew Macphail Homestead, Orwell, PEI

PEI author Marian Bruce launched her new book, Listening for the Dead Bells, on Sunday September 22, 2019. This collection of folklore about ghosts, witches, seers, and forerunners aims to nurture the storytelling tradition on PEI and inspire others to collect more tales before they are forgotten.

Listening for the Dead Bells is published by Island Studies Press at the University of Prince Edward Island.

Click here for more details and to purchase

APRIL 2019
IIS Research Associate Dr. Gerard Prinsen gives talk in the Netherlands:

“Panic and policy. Island responses to pandemic threats and to global guidelines

On April 4, 2019, on his way home from a conference co-hosted by UPEI and the University of Aruba, IIS Research Associate Dr. Gerard Prinsen stopped in to his home country of the Netherlands to give a talk based on his research on island-specific responses to health crises. The talk was hosted by The Centre for Space, Place and Society (CSPS) at Wageningen University & Research.

In response to pandemics, World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines advise countries not to close their borders because it is ineffectual and disrupts economies. However, historical and epidemiological evidence suggests this may not apply to islands. A 2018 research by One Health Aotearoa New Zealand reviewed pandemic response policies of 44 Sub-National Island Jurisdictions (SNIJs) and 24 sovereign Small Island States (SISs), asking if islands are anchored to global WHO guidelines or charting their own course.This presentation outlined the arguments around border closure as an island-specific pandemic response policy, then shared the analysis of the data collected. This analysis not only explored the extent to which islands align with global WHO guidelines or begin disrupting these international guidelines by carving out island-specific responses, but it also differentiated between the responses of SISs and SNIJs.

Gerard Prinsen is a senior lecturer in Development Studies at Massey University New Zealand and a Research Associate at the Institute of Island Studies of the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada. One of his areas of research zooms on the relationships between (former) colonial metropoles and the islands across the globe that remain connected to these metropoles as ‘sub-national island jurisdictions’. Matters of local identity evolution, global power projection, natural resource extraction, and public policy negotiation are central to his interest in an emerging ‘Islandian sovereignty’.

UPEI signs MOU with University of the West Indies

In December 2018, UPEI and the University of the West Indies signed their first ever Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), to pursue collaboration in teaching and research to inform social and economic development in developing countries.

The collaboration is to be implemented through the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) at The UWI and the Institute of Island Studies (IIS) at UPEI and may involve activities such as joint research, collaborative development of academic programmes, joint teaching and supervision of students, student and faculty exchange, joint publications, and staging of joint seminars and conferences.

Click here for more details

NOVEMBER 22, 2018
UPEI signs MOU with Japan’s University of the Ryukyus

UOR President Ashiro and UPEI President Alaa

On November 21, UPEI President Alaa Abd-El-Aziz and Island Studies professor and UNESCO Chair Jim Randall welcomed a delegation from the University of the Ryukyus, an island university based in Okinawa, Japan.

The purpose was to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the two universities, to facilitate academic exchange of students and of faculty.

Click here for full details

APRIL 2, 2019
UPEI co-hosts international conference with the University of Aruba

The first “International Conference on Small Island States and Subnational Island Jurisdictions” was hosted March 26-29, 2019 by the University of Aruba, in collaboration with the Centre of Excellence for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (COE) and the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability, which is shared between the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) in Canada and the University of Malta.

The theme of the conference was “Island States/Island Territories: Sharing Stories of Island Life, Governance and Global Engagement.” The conference appealed to scholars, policy-makers, NGO representatives, students and members of the general public who networked and shared knowledge on Sustainable Development on islands. In total the conference had approximately 100 participants. Several geographic regions were represented, including the Caribbean, Pacific and Africa, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea (AIMS), Australasia and the North Atlantic.

Click here for full details


Dr. Jim Randall was invited to present a keynote address at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Blue Economy Forum, November 13-14, 2018, in Ningbo, China. The theme of this 5th APEC Forum focused on “Local Blue Economy Practice: Policy and Approach,” which has gained prominence in recent years as a popular development strategy among island and coastal communities through its vision to achieve marine sustainable development and human well-being.

OCTOBER 1, 2018
New report and survey conducted by IIS for the Government of PEI:
Recruiting Talent to Prince Edward Island Survey:
Build a Career. Create a Life.

Individuals who have lived on or visited Prince Edward Island (PEI) previously but now live elsewhere represent an important component of a comprehensive population strategy. In order to develop effective, evidence-based policy that supports the repatriation of these individuals to PEI, it is important to better understand why these individuals moved away and what they see as the opportunities and possible barriers to returning to PEI. The results of the survey described in this Report, entitled Recruiting Talent to PEI Survey: Build a Career. Create a Life, provide some of this evidence. Released in May 2018, the Report and the survey of these Islanders were completed under the auspices of the Institute of Island Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island.
Click here for full details and to download a copy of the report

SSHRC-funded meetings to create research relationships and partnerships in field of island studies
Charlottetown, PEI (September 10, 2018)— 

UPEI’s Institute of Island Studies and the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability hosted a weekend of meetings with representatives and researchers from a dozen islands around the world. This unprecedented gathering of scholars in the field of Island Studies is made possible by a Partnership Development Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). The project will build relationships between researchers and will fund up to twelve graduate students.

This meeting brought together six representatives of small island states (Iceland, New Zealand, Mauritius, Palau, Cyprus, St. Lucia and Grenada) and six representatives from non-sovereign, sub-national island jurisdictions (Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, La Réunion, Lesbos, Guam and Tobago). These groups will compare experiences, to see whether statehood is a boon or hindrance when implementing sustainable practices in social-political, cultural-artistic, economic, and environmental areas.

The project will develop a set of measures of sustainability and sovereignty by undertaking household and focus group surveys using comparisons of six pairs of islands. The Institute of Island Studies and the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability will coordinate these activities, bringing together island researchers and solving issues using a local-to-global integrated approach.

Click here for full details

UNESCO Co-chair in Island Studies and Sustainability donates books to the Robertson Library

Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino has donated several of his latest publications to the Robertson Library at UPEI. Included are five books in the Rethinking the Island Series (Rowman & Littlefield), which he co-edited with Elizabeth McMahon and Elaine Stratford, as well as two books he edited: Solution Protocols to Festering Island Disputes: ‘Win-Win’ Solutions for the Diaoyu / Senkaku Islands (Routledge, 2017) and The Routledge International Handbook of Island Studies (Routledge, 2018). The Library and our Island Studies community thanks you, Godfrey!  

PEI’s Georgina Pope subject of new book:
Called to Serve: Georgina Pope: Canadian Nursing Military Heroine

BOOK LAUNCH Sunday, June 24, 2018 | 2 p.m.
Eptek Art & Culture Centre, Summerside

Called to Serve: Georgina Pope, Canadian Nursing Military Heroine
by Katherine Dewar

Available from Island Studies Press

Called to Serve documents the life and times of Prince Edward Island’s Georgina Fane Pope (1862-1938), daughter of William Henry Pope and Helen Desbrisay Pope. Her journey takes us from Charlottetown, where, inspired by Florence Nightingale, she developed a “burning desire” to become an army nurse; to the Boston States where she trained; to the battlefields of Africa and Europe where she served as a nursing sister and Superintendent of Nurses―and helped establish the nursing corps of the Canadian Army Medical Corps. Matron Pope was the first Canadian Nurse decorated with a Royal Red Cross, 1st class, by Queen Victoria. In 2007, Georgina Pope’s bronze bust became one of the 14 heroic figures forming a part of the Valiants’ Memorial in Confederation Square, Ottawa. She also appears on the Canadian $5 coin.

Katherine Dewar is the author of the award-winning book, Those Splendid Girls: The Heroic Service of Prince Edward Island Nurses in the Great War, 1914-1918. Katherine is retired from a career as a nursing instructor at the PEI School of Nursing, and is now committed to researching PEI’s colourful nursing history.

MAY 28, 2018
Two pre-eminent Island folklorists receive prestigious Marius Barbeau Medal

Georges Arsenault
John Cousins

The executive of the Folklore Studies Association of Canada / L’Association canadienne d’ethnologie et de folklore (FSAC/ACEF) are very pleased to announce that both Georges Arsenault and John Cousins, two of Prince Edward Island’s most esteemed folklorists, have received the association’s Marius Barbeau Medal. Named after Marius Barbeau, who is widely recognized as the founder of Canadian folklore, the medal is given in recognition of remarkable individual contributions to folklore and ethnology through teaching, research, and communication―activities in which both Arsenault and Cousins have excelled.
Previous recipients of the Barbeau Medal with fieldwork links to PEI include Dr. John Shaw and the late Dr. Edward “Sandy” Ives.

Click here for full details, and remarks from Dr. Ed MacDonald

The Folklore Studies Association of Canada / L’Association canadienne d’ethnologie et de folklore Annual Meeting
May 25-27 2018 | UPEI Main Building 

OPENING REMARKS: Friday, May 25, 5-6:30 p.m., Main Building Faculty Lounge, followed by LECTURE: “Recueillir, conserver et partager la chanson traditionnelle acadienne de l’Île-du-Prince- Édouard” by Georges Arsenault

Saturday, May 26, 5-6:30 p.m
Carriage House, Beaconsfield, 2 Kent Street, Charlottetown: 
The Witch & the Song Maker as Law Givers in Island Farming & Fishing Communities” by John Cousins

Sunday, May 27, 11 a.m. to noon: “A Tribute to Sandy Ives,” with Laurie Brinklow, John Cousins, Pauleena MacDougall, and Rob MacLean of The Homestead Players

MAY 25, 2018
John Cousins wins PEI Book Award

The Prince Edward Island Book Awards were handed out at the Cox & Palmer Island Literary Awards in Charlottetown on Saturday, May 25, 2018, and Island Studies Press’s book, New London: The Lost Dream by John Cousins, won the award for non-fiction.

Congratulations, John!

Shortlisted in the poetry category was Jane Ledwell’s Bird Calls.

APRIL 2018
The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road
Islands Economic Cooperation Forum: ANNUAL REPORT ON GLOBAL ISLANDS 2017

The Annual Report on Global Islands 2017, published by Island Studies Press in partnership with the Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of Hainan Province, was launched at the Boao Island Economic Cooperation Forum in April 2018.
Executive Editor-in-Chief is Dr. James Randall, working with Editor Dr. Laurie Brinklow and Designer Joan Sinclair.
Click here for full details and to download a PDF version of the report

Book on Owen Connolly chosen PEI’s Publication of the Year for 2017

The book Owen Connolly: The Making of a Legacy was named PEI’s Publication of the Year at the annual PEI Museum and Heritage Awards ceremony held February 20, 2018, in Summerside. The book tells the rags-to-riches story of Irish immigrant Owen Connolly, who is best recognized today as the man whose bust sits atop the Churchill Arms building on Lower Queen St., Charlottetown.

Upon his death in 1887, Owen Connolly was one of the wealthiest men on Prince Edward Island, and he dedicated his fortune to bursaries for young Islanders of Irish heritage, so they might gain a higher education and achieve career success. To date, his estate has provided over $3 million in bursaries, and benefitted countless thousands of Islanders. The bursary program continues today.

Eight of those Islanders, including contemporary entrepreneurs Regis Duffy and Danny Murphy, are featured in the book’s color section, crediting the importance of the Connolly bursary to their early careers. Their families, like so many others, couldn’t afford higher education so the Connolly bursaries were a godsend.

This award-winning book is written by Leonard Cusack, and co-published by Island Studies Press at UPEI and the estate of Owen Connolly. The book is available at Island bookstores, including the UPEI bookstore.

Click here for more details and to purchase

Author Leonard Cusack and researcher Lori Mayne receive their citation for Publication of the Year for the book Owen Connolly: The Making of a Legacy, from Lt. Gov. Antoinette Perry, at the recent PEIMHF annual awards in Summerside.
Photo Courtesy Gov’t of PEI / Brian L. Simpson

From Black Horses to White Steeds: Building Community Resilience

Edited by Laurie Brinklow and Ryan Gibson, From Black Horses to White Steeds: Building Community Resilience celebrates and critiques the dynamics of innovation, governance, and culture in place. Case studies from both sides of the North Atlantic illustrate episodes of “turning around”; evolution, transformation, and visionary strategy that breathe new life into the term “think global, act local.

The chapters explore how various dark horses including minorities, small towns, peripheries, Aboriginal communities, those with little money, status, voice, or political leverage can rise to the occasion and chart livable futures.
From Black Horses to White Steeds is a companion book to Remote Control (ISER 2009) and Place Peripheral (ISER 2015).

“Rural folks have always been both resilient and resourceful. The narratives in this book are truly inspiring in ways to deal with the current and future pace as new technology and environmental change presents challenges and opportunities. Local communities everywhere will benefit from the insights contained herein.”
– Hon. Diane Griffin, Senate of Canada

“Like so many collections of case studies, this book provides plenty of inspiring examples. Unlike many, however, it includes useful international comparisons with thoughtful interpretations, methodological transparency, and respect for the limits of the techniques that make the cases useful for critical analysis as well as activism.”
– Bill Reimer, Professor Emeritus, Sociology and Anthropology, Concordia University

“That remote rural and island communities should thrive in this day and age might fly in the face of conventional wisdom. Yet, there is clear evidence of vibrant communities that creatively exploit the opportunities presented by their geographical predicament. No horsing around here: these are narratives of leadership, vitality, and resilience; crafted out of grit, imagination, and public / private / voluntary-sector partnerships.”
– Godfrey Baldacchino, UNESCO co-chair in Island Studies and Sustainability, UPEI, Canada

6×9, 378 pages with photos, charts, tables
Endnotes, Bibliography, and Index
ISBN 978-1-988692-07-4
Also available as a PDF

PUBLIC SYMPOSIUM – Rural Tourism Policy: Iceland/PEI Consultation
Wednesday, May 24, 2017 | 7-9 p.m.
MacKinnon Lecture Theatre, Room 242, MacDougall Hall, UPEI

Rural tourism was the subject of a public symposium at UPEI on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 in the Alex H. MacKinnon Lecture Theatre, Don and Marion McDougall Hall.

“Tourism, Place and Identity: Rural Tourism in Iceland and Prince Edward Island”– sponsored by the Institute of Island Studies and UPEI’s VP Research and Academic – featured Ms. Gudrun Gunnarsdottir of the Tourism Research Centre in Akureyri, Iceland.
She was joined by a panel of authorities/practitioners in PEI Tourism, comprising Dr. Ed MacDonald of UPEI’s History Department, tourism operator Bill Kendrick of Experience PEI, and Ann Worth, Executive Director of Meetings and Conventions PEI.
Click here for full details and to watch the presentation

Island Studies Special Presentation
Electoral Boundaries Process on Bermuda
featuring PEI’s Chief Justice David Jenkins

Monday, April 10, 2017| 7 p.m. | UPEI Main Building Faculty Lounge

The timing couldn’t be better. In keeping with one of the Institute’s goals to see Prince Edward Island through the lens of other islands, PEI’s Chief Justice David Jenkins shared with Prince Edward Islanders what he’s learned as a member of Bermuda’s Constituency Boundaries Commission. He delivered a lecture Monday, April 10, at 7 p.m., in the UPEI Main Building Faculty Lounge.

Click here for dull details

Launch of Bird Calls: The Island Responds, by Jane Ledwell
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
7 p.m. | Upstreet Craft Brewing, Allen Street, Charlottetown

Layout 1

Bird Calls weaves the travel prose of Isabella Lucy Bird with Ledwell’s poems written in response, and delivers an intriguing conversation for the reader which contrasts PEI then and now, and showcases the talents of two accomplished writers, from very different generations.

More details

October 27, 2016
CONGRATULATIONS to Diane Griffin, Institute of Island Studies Advisory Council Member, who has been appointed to the Senate of Canada!


Diane has been a long-time supporter of the Institute, having served on its Advisory Board and as Chair of many of our Public Forums over the years. We applaud her appointment wholeheartedly.

Diane will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Red Chamber – along with her passion for all things Prince Edward Island.


July 22, 2016
A Tribute to Long-time Friend of the Institute of Island Studies: Dr. George McRobie
by Harry Baglole

Dr. George McRobie died in Charlottetown on Friday, July 2, 2016. The trajectory of his remarkable life took him from his birthplace of Moscow (1925), through his childhood in northern Scotland, his highly successful career in London and throughout the world, and finally here to Prince Edward Island, his half-time home since 2009. He was a man of great personal warmth and charm, much beloved by his many friends on the Island.
Click here to read full tribute

June 16, 2016
Two good friends of the Institute of Island Studies receive awards at the 2016 Congress in Calgary!


Congratulations go out to Dr. Lisa Chilton and Dr. Edward MacDonald of UPEI’s history department, who were nationally recognized for excellence in research and service. 


PUBLIC SYMPOSIUM: Sustainable Agriculture and the Island’s Food System
Monday, November 14, 2016 | 7-9 p.m.
Duffy Science Centre Amphitheatre, Room 135, UPEI Campus

Dr. Mark Lapping, Key Speaker

The Island’s “food system” was the topic of a Public Symposium held at UPEI’s Duffy Science Centre Amphitheatre, Room 135, on Monday, November 14, 2016. In particular, the discussion focused on a move toward a more sustainable agriculture, with a stronger emphasis on local food and food security.

Click here for more details and to watch the video

Public Forum: Climate Change Adaptations and Islands
September 22, 2016
Florence Simmons Performance Hall, Holland College, Charlottetown

UPEI’s UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability and the UPEI Climate Research Lab co-hosted a public forum on climate change adaptations and islands on September 26, 2016. Information gathered at the forum will be become part of a statement delivered at the 22nd Unite Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 22) in Morocco in November 2016 and will inform public policy in local, national, and international jurisdictions.

Click here for full details and to watch the video

July 2016
Island Studies Press publishes two new books:  


New London: The Lost Dream
The Quaker Settlement on P.E.I.’s North Shore, 1773-1795
by John Cousins
Illustrations by Jeff Alward

Drawing upon fresh sources and squeezing insight from existing accounts, author John Cousins delivers this remarkable piece of Island history, virtually unknown until now. He recreates the life – and death – of New London and its Quaker families, complete with heroes and villains, hope and disenchantment, miscalculation and ill fortune, and provides a fascinating portrait of early British settlement on Prince Edward Island.

Click here for full details

Time and a Place cover

Time and A Place: An Environmental History of Prince Edward Island
Edited by Edward MacDonald, Joshua MacFadyen, and Irene Novaczek

Click here for an interview with Co-Editor Ed MacDonald.

Time and A Place tracks PEI’s changes from the Ice Age to the Information Age. Putting PEI at the forefront of Canadian environmental history, It is a remarkable work that illuminates the numerous forces that shape and change ecosystems.

Time and A Place is a co-publication with McGill-Queens University Press. Click here for full details

For more details and information on Island Studies Press titles, see: http://projects.upei.ca/isp/

UPEI announces UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability.
Chair will be co-held by Dr. James Randall and Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino
July 22, 2016 | 11 a.m. | Regis and Joan Duffy Research Centre

Drs Randall and Baldacchino
Dr. Jim Randall & Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino

Dr. Robert Gilmour, Vice-President Academic and Research at the University of Prince Edward Island, today announced a new UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability. The chair will be co-held by Dr. James Randall, a geographer and coordinator of UPEI’s Master of Arts in Island Studies (MAIS) program, and Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino, a professor of sociology at the University of Malta and an Island Studies teaching fellow at the University of Prince Edward Island.

Click here for full announcement and more details

Chair of the Institute of Island Studies and Co-ordinator of the MAIS Program Dr. Jim Randall shares his thoughts on Quality of Life with PEI Standing Committee on Health and Wellness
Tuesday, March 15, 2016 | J. Angus MacLean Building, Charlottetown, PEI

Click here for full speech

The Geography of Local Governance on Prince Edward Island: A Public Symposium
February 25, 2016 | 7 p.m.
MacKinnon Auditorium, Don and Marion McDougall Hall, UPEI Campus


The topic of local governance was the focal point of an upcoming Public Symposium, “The Geography of Governance,” sponsored by UPEI’s Institute of Island Studies, in conjunction with UPEI Research Services.

Click here for full details and video

Island Mobility, Migration, and Population Issues
January 21, 2016 | 7 p.m.
MacKinnon Lecture Theatre, Don and Marion McDougall Hall, UPEI Campus

Speakers: Dr. Jim Randall, Katie Mazer (PhD Candidate), and Tony Wallbank.

Two Amish men with haywagon

Population change has always been at the core of the development of small islands – and it is no different on Prince Edward Island. Every day the public media deliver news about some aspect of population: youth outmigration, rural depopulation, an aging workforce, temporary foreign workers, refugees, wealthy immigrant investors…
This Public Symposium provided an opportunity for the public to hear about and contribute to the debate on several of the salient population issues that are crucial to the future of Prince Edward Island.

Click here for full details

October 30, 2015 | 2-4 p.m. | Main Building Faculty Lounge, UPEI
2nd Annual Island Studies Open House

The Institute of Island Studies and the Master of Arts in Island Studies program hosted the 2nd annual Island Studies Open House in the UPEI Faculty Lounge.

The program included:
Remarks from IIS Chair Dr. Jim Randall on the IIS’s accomplishments over the past year, and words from VP Research and Graduate Studies Dr. Robert Gilmour and VP Academic Dr. Christian Lacroix.
Joan Sinclair of Island Studies Press spoke about the year’s publishing highlights.
Dr. Jean Mitchell talked about her ongoing research on the islands of Vanuatu.
Dr. Richard Lemm presented an Island Studies Teaching Fellow designation to Dr. Brent MacLaine (in absentia and now retired from UPEI’s English Department), in recognition of his longstanding work and dedication to the academic program.
Finally, scholarships were awarded to several MAIS students. As always, a huge thank you goes to the scholarship donors.  

Back row: Erin Rowan, Erwin and Joyce Andrew Memorial Scholarship in Island Studies International Island Award; Eric Gilbert, Dr. Peter and Mrs. Donna Meincke Graduate Scholarship in Island Studies; Mark Currie, The Bill and Denise Andrew Scholarship in Island Studies Gold Award; and Owen Jennings, UPEI Entrance Scholarship.

Front row: Izumi Nonaka, Erwin and Joyce Andrew Memorial Scholarship in Island Studies Canadian Island Award; Jennifer White, UPEI Entrance Scholarship; Stephanie Douglas, UPEI Entrance Scholarship; and Pooja Kumar, Carnegie Foundation Graduate Scholarship in Island Studies.
Missing from the photo: Sara Underwood, Bill and Denise Andrew Scholarship in Island Studies Silver Award.

In addition, Katharine MacDonald won the 2015-16 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship.

Congratulations all round!

Building Community Resilience: Innovation, Culture and Governance in Place International Conference
September 16-19, 2015 | Loyalist Country Inn, Summerside, PEI

The 10th North Atlantic Forum and 27th Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation conference, entitled Building Community Resilience: Innovation, Culture, and Governance in Place, was held in Summerside September 16-19, 2015.

Keynote, panel, and paper presentations can be found at pei2015.crrf.ca
(Disponible en français: ipe2015.crrf.ca)

Island Land Use Policy at an Impasse?

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014, at 7:00 p.m.

The past and present state of Island land use policy was the subject of this Public Symposium. Ian Petrie addressed the topic “Why Farmers Fight Regulations” and posed the question, is there a way out of this impasse? Jean-Paul Arsenault’s talk, entitled “Factors Affecting Land Use Decisions: What Were They Thinking?”, addressed the question, would stricter controls on land use be good for Prince Edward Island, or is the status quo the better option?

Click here for full details

Thursday, October 23, 2014 at the Carriage House, Beaconsfield, Charlottetown
Book Launch: “Those Splendid Girls” by Katherine Dewar
Click here for Those Splendid Girls website
Click here to view event invitation/flyer

Island Studies Open House: Monday, September 8th, 2014 4-6 pm

Island Water Symposium at UPEI
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 – 7:00 pm
Alex H. MacKinnon Auditorium, Don and Marion McDougall Hall, UPEI

The future of the Island’s water supply was the subject of a public symposium at the University of Prince Edward Island. In light of recent concern about increased pressure on our groundwater resources by urban, industrial, and agricultural use, this event was a timely one.

This was a public-forum event with presentations by three speakers: Dr. Ryan O’Connor, Dr. Cathy Ryan, and Dr. Michael van den Heuvel.

Click here for full details

April 22, 2014 | Final report of the Institute of Island Studies Futures Committee

In the fall of 2013, UPEI created a committee to advise on the future operations of the University’s longstanding and widely respected institute for research and public policy: the Institute of Island Studies. The Institute of Island Studies Futures Committee, in cooperation with UPEI’s Vice-President Research and Graduate Studies, and Interim Vice-President Academic has released its final report, entitled: “One Step Back, and Two Steps Forward,” which is available for download and review.

Click here for more details and to download a copy of the report

Past Projects from 2008 include:

  • 2007 Tasmanian writer in residence Tim Thorne at UPEI, Charlottetown
  • Youth Engagement and Mental Health

Past Projects from 2007 include:

  • PEI Writer Deirdre Kessler Heads off to Writer-in-Residency in Tasmania!
  • 2007 writer in residence Deirdre Kessler (UPEI), in Hobart, Tasmania
  • The Small Island Cultures Research Initiative Conference
  • Institute of Island Studies is Pleased to Announce “A World of Islands”: An Island Studies Reader
  • Island Studies Director Moderates Public Forum on Water Quality and Health
  • Institute of Island Studies Releases Museums Report, March 2007
  • David Suzuki and the Dreamers’ Symposium
  • The First Chiloe Internship
  • Northumberland Strait Ecosystem Initiative
  • CCEDNet Conference
  • Southern Gulf of St Lawrence Coalition for Sustainability Annual Conference

Past Projects from 2006 include:

  • 2007 writer in residence Danielle Wood at UPEI, Charlottetown
  • Institute of Island Studies Working with the Northumberland Strait Ecosystem Initiative Working Group
  • Island Studies Journal Now Available Online
  • Pacific Voices: Equality & Sustainability in Pacific Island Fisheries
  • Southern Islands Symposia
  • Virginia Tech University Environmental Issues Tour of PEI
  • Public Forum on Cruise ship Tourism
  • Island Studies hits Hawai’i
  • Retreat to Advance!
  • Learning from Research fellows and Associates
  • Chinese Islanders Book Launches and Art Exhibit
  • Tasmanian Writer Danielle Wood’s Residency at UPEI
  • The Social Economy Research Network events

Past Projects from 2005 include:

  • IIS Co-ordinates New Studies on the Atlantic Social Economy
  • Community Forest Dialogues
  • Memorandum of Understanding and Association Signed Between The Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI, IIS, and UPEI
  • Institute of Island Studies Celebrates its 20th Anniversary
  • Online Library Resources Expanded
  • Prince Edward Island Forest Policy Announced
  • GMO Report Presented to Standing Committee

Past Projects from 2002-2004 include:

  • Notes From a Public Lecture on University Avenue
  • Panel on Coastal Communities
  • Database of Islands VII Conference Papers

Past Projects from 1998-2002 include:

  • Islands of the world VII: New Horizons in Island Studies
  • Knowledge Assessment Methodology (KAM)
  • Community Capacity Building
  • Message in a Bottle: the Literature of Small Islands
  • Island Sustainability, Livelihood and Equity Program (ISLE)
  • Local Knowledge / Global Challenge: Smart Community Development
  • The Employment Summit and the Population Strategy
  • North Atlantic Forum (NAF)



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