MAIS Program Well-Represented at Two International Conferences 

Charlottetown, PEI (July 11, 2022)—

The MAIS program was well-represented at two recent international Island Studies conferences in Croatia and Shetland. 

ISISA UPEI contingent

Attending and presenting their research at the 18th International Small Islands Studies Association (ISISA) “Islands of the World: Nature and Culture” conference hosted by the University of Zadar, Croatia, June 13-17, were MAIS students Jenna Gaudet, Helena Ryan, and Richard Wedge. MAIS sessional instructor and PhD student Andrew Halliday (University of New Brunswick) also presented, as did Prince Edward Island scholars Laurie Brinklow, Godfrey Baldacchino, and Anna Baldacchino.
Special congratulations go to Jenna and Andrew on receiving student scholarships from ISISA and the conference organizers! 

ISISA Jenna and Helena

To give you a glimpse into MAIS research, here are the presentation titles:
– Jenna Gaudet: “Islands of Control: Gated Communities and the Future of Island Life” 
– Helena M. Ryan: “Female Island Youth in Parts Per Million (ppm) Volumetric Voices: Sustainable Development through the Islandness of Lucy Maud Montgomery, Autumn Peltier, and Greta Thunberg “
– Richard Wedge: “Neoliberalism and Health in Tonga”
– Andrew Halliday: “The Island Within: Prince Edward Island’s Involvement in the Atlantic Bubble” 
– Godfrey Baldacchino: “Doing Island Studies: A Methodology Primer Takes Shape” 
– Anna Baldacchino: “A Walk Down Memory Lane: A Review of ISISA Newsletters (2012-2021)” 
– Laurie Brinklow: “The Disappearing Island: Exploring Islandness and the Language of Art in the Anthropocene”
– Laurie Brinklow with Brady Reid (Memorial University): “Generosity Through Crisis: Comparing Opportunities of Multi-Jurisdictional Socio-Economic Recovery through Philanthropy in Atlantic Canada” 

In addition to a full academic program with 4 keynote speakers, 93 papers presented, and 120 participants from around the globe, the organizing committee led by University of Zadar’s Aniça Cuka also put together three stunning field trips to islands off the coast of Zadar, including Uglijan, Pag, and Dugi otok, giving us a small glimpse of life in this beautiful Croatian archipelago. 

The Book of Abstracts can be found here: https://www.isisa.org/userfiles/ISISA_2022_Book_of_Abstracts_FIN.pdf 

Two weeks later, MAIS students joined Laurie at the Small Island Cultures Research Initiative (SICRI) Island Studies International Conference (ISIC 16) entitled “Creativity, Ingenuity, and Practice” hosted by the Centre for Island Creativity at the University of the Highlands and Islands in Shetland. They were Andrew MacPherson, Fiona Steele, and Maggie J. Whitten Henry (presenting remotely). Wonderful congratulations go to Fiona for being recognized for the Best Student Presentation at the end of the conference! 

Fiona receiving her award

You can hear Fiona discuss the conference, and her podcast “the hidden island” on CBC’s Mainstreet.

Presentations at the ISIC 16 included:
– Andrew MacPherson: “Reimagining Canada as an Archipelago: Two Islands as Depicted in Recent Speculative Fiction”
Fiona Steele: “Creative Approaches to Sustainable Island Tourism” 
– Maggie J. Whitten Henry: “Recursive islandness in creative practice: Entangled negotiations with abundance, loss, tradition, and time” 
– Laurie Brinklow: “My island’s the house I sleep in at night: Nissopoesis and island-making” 

Conference organizers were Andrew Jennings from UHI (who is also a member of the Institute of Island Studies Advisory Committee), along with co-convenors Evangelia Papoutsaki and Meng Qu from SICRI. 

Plans for the conference field trip to the northernmost islands of Yell and Unst were thwarted when the ferry to Yell broke down, but in true island fashion, conference organizers came up with an equally fabulous program: a bus tour of Shetland narrated by Andrew and his colleague, UHI professor and archaeologist Simon Clarke. Conference-goers did get to experience a short ferry ride later to another island in the archipelago: to Bressay, across Lerwick’s harbour, for an evening at the local arts and community centre. 

On behalf of the students, Laurie would like to thank the Office of Development and Alumni Engagement, the UPEI Student Union, and ISISA and the University of Zadar for funding assistance that allowed them to participate in these invaluable experiences.  

Fiona, Laurie, and Andrew

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.

[New Publication] “Islandness: A COVID-19 Superpower?”

April 15, 2021—

MAIS student and IIS Interim Coordinator Marlene Chapman’s opinion piece, “Islandness: A COVID-19 superpower?”, was recently published in The Guardian. In this article, Marlene discusses the characteristics of islandness and how they have contributed to community resilience on Prince Edward Island – and in Atlantic Canada more broadly – in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


Read the article on the SaltWire website

If you do not have a SaltWire subscription, you can access the article via the IIS Publications Library.


RESEARCH | PUBLICATIONS


NEWS: “Who’s your mother? Bringing Women’s work to the fore on Prince Edward Island” – Panel presentations at the 5th International St. Magnus Conference, April 2021

April 12, 2021—

The Institute for Northern Studies at the University of Highland and Islands will be hosting the 5th International St. Magnus Conference from April 14–16, 2021. Originally scheduled to take place in Shetland in 2020, this three-day conference will be taking place virtually via Webex. This year’s theme is ‘Island Histories and Herstories’ and explores the contribution of women and men in island communities from before the Viking age to the present, revealing the experiences of island life through research and storytelling.

As part of this conference, there will be a PEI-focused panel session on Wednesday, April 14th, from 11:30am-1:00pm ADT (UTC-3), featuring Dr. Laurie Brinklow and MAIS student Marlene Chapman.

PANEL DETAILS:

Who’s your mother? Bringing women’s work to the fore on Prince Edward Island

Ever since European immigrants chose to settle in Canada nearly four centuries ago, the economy of Atlantic Canada has been rooted in traditional ways of making a living: agriculture and the fishery. Prince Edward Island is no different, with its ‘islandness’ intensifying the social structure associated with each industry, resulting in conservative yet – seemingly paradoxically – cosmopolitan societies. Women have played fundamental roles in the types of work associated with these industries, often sharing responsibility or taking the lead out of necessity.
This panel takes its title from the common expression used when Prince Edward Islanders meet someone new – “Who’s your father?” – used to emplace you in the patrilineal “tribe” that is Prince Edward Island. We turn it on its head, documenting how PEI has often been at the forefront of what we now call ‘feminism’ in the fishery and the arts – and attributing much of this empowerment to the intensity that comes with island living. 

Presentation ABSTRACTS:

Raising the glass ceiling in the Prince Edward Island fisheries
Marlene Chapman

Lobster fisher and Master of Arts in Island Studies student, UPEI

In Prince Edward Island, interest in women’s roles in the fishing industry is rising like the tide. Already in 2019, an island fishing community instituted an annual award to recognise women, and the provincial government launched a survey to figure out how to reduce barriers in the industry for females. This paper looks at this changing role of women and wonders aloud what this might mean for sustainability of the island’s fisheries.

A photo of Laurie Brinklow smiling

Women making art on Prince Edward Island
Dr. Laurie Brinklow

Institute of Island Studies, UPEI

Recently the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, hosted an exhibition entitled ‘Who’s your mother? Women Artists of P.E.I., 1964 to the Present’, showcasing PEI women’s art and correcting a gap in the Centre’s acquisitions to better reflect today’s ‘artistic scene that by now arguably produces more female than male artists’. This paper asks the question: how has being ‘islanded’ affected women’s acceptance in a profession that was dominated by males on what has generally been considered a conservative island?


For more information about the 5th International St. Magnus Conference, the full program, and to register to attend, visit uhi.ac.uk/en/research-enterprise/cultural/institute-for-northern-studies/research/conferences/stmagnus2021


MAIS News: Student Awards

March 30, 2021 —
MAIS Student wins UPEI Faculty Association Master’s Medal

Congratulations to Master of Arts in Island Studies (MAIS) student Joyce Ferguson for winning this year’s UPEI Faculty Association’s Master’s medal for her work on “Prince Edward Island and Renewable Energy: The Preconditions for a Sustainable Future.” The thesis, with co-supervisors Drs. Jean Mitchell and Udo Krautwurst, examines the relationship between energy policy and community in her home province of PEI through a case study of the wind farm expansion controversy in eastern Kings County.

ABOUT JOYCE
Joyce Ferguson graduated from UPEI with an Honours BA in Sociology, where she was on the Dean’s Honours List, and received one the Ambrose Kwok-Yau Lee Awards for 2018-19, the Roderick Stirling MacDonald Scholarship, and the Dr. Satadal Dasgupta Memorial Award. She was awarded a Future Prosperity Scholarship when she entered the MAIS program and has since received a Canada Graduate Master’s Scholarship from SSHRC. Joyce and her family live in Rustico and she is the very proud mother of nine-year-old Leo.

MAIS Thesis Defense: Ian McIsaac

March 8, 2021 —
MAIS THESIS DEFENSE: IAN MCISAAC
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.

→ Watch now: bit.ly/MAIS-mcisaac


Background:
In 2015, the PEI Marketing Council created the Lobster Fishers of Prince Edward Island (LFPEI) Commodity Board after holding a plebiscite. Ian conducted research to better understand what factors led to the decision, and to discover if any aspect of islandness may have influenced this independent group of Island business men and women who compete with each other to catch the same fish.

NEWS: Info Session – Master of Arts in Island Studies @ UPEI

MAIS Info Session: Master of Arts in Island Studies @ UPEI

March 1, 2021—

Have you ever thought of completing a Master’s degree in, among other things, island tourism, sustainability, or international relations, all while staying on the Island?
If so, please join us on March 4th, 20201, for an information session on UPEI’s Master of Arts, Island Studies programs!

Master of Arts in Island Studies Information Session
Thursday, March 4, 2021
12:00 – 1:00 pm via Zoom
Everyone is welcome! Please email Laurie Brinklow at brinklow@upei.ca to receive the Zoom link if you would like to attend.


ABOUT THE MAIS PROGRAM

In addition to the traditional thesis-based option, you are now able to take one of three course-and work-study-based Masters specializing in Island Tourism, Sustainable Island Communities, or International Relations & Island Public Policy. Sessions will be delivered using a combination of face-to-face classes, video link and online, starting in September. Entrance Scholarships for these and the thesis version of the program are available.

Learn more at islandstudies.com/mais-program