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Island Studies Press

Malcolm Murray launches book at Playwrights Cabaret

Saturday, April 27, 2019, 7 p.m.
SDU Main Building Faculty Lounge, University of Prince Edward Island


Malcolm Murray will launch his new book The Philosopher, a collection of one-act plays, at the Playwrights Cabaret on Saturday April 27th at 7 p.m. in the Faculty Lounge of the Main Building at the University of Prince Edward Island. Hosted by the PEI wing of PARC (Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre), the cabaret celebrates Island playwrights with readings of their plays.
The Cabaret is hosted by PEI PARC members Orysia Dawydiak and Yvette Doucette, with readings by Rob MacDonald, Catherine O'Brien, Nadine Salami, among others. Malcolm Murray and friends will read selections from The Philosopher, which will be available for sale. Doors open at 6:30 pm, with a cash bar and nibblies. Admission is by donation.
Comedic, satirical, and at times solemn, The Philosopher showcases the range of human complexity from nonsense to wisdom. Murray’s characters range from a philosopher in chains brought up from the basement to entertain guests to a psychologist who assists a traumatized patient to become more self-aware, only to result in greater angst. Provocative, perceptive, and rife with questions about the motives and morality of our everyday conduct, The Philosopher ultimately deals with the search for meaning and our need to believe. Murray writes, “Believe what though? Politics. Religion. Sports. It’s obvious that content doesn’t matter. It’s just belief itself. What they fear most is not believing. No one can stand that.”
Apart from being a playwright, Malcolm Murray is also a fiction writer and philosopher. His produced plays include “Art of Posing” (2014), “The Abettor” (2013), “The Philosopher” (2012), and “Chop Wood, Carry Water” (2008). He is the author of five philosophy books including Morals and Consent (2017). Malcolm lives with his wife, a cat, a dog, and recently, though less agreeably, a raccoon. He teaches Philosophy at the University of Prince Edward Island.
Island Studies Press gratefully acknowledges the support of the University of Prince Edward Island Vice-President, Academic and Research, through an Internal Publications Award for the book.
Please join Island Studies Press and PEI PARC in celebrating the work of local playwrights. For more information about the book or the launch, please contact Bren at or call (902) 566-0386.

UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability and the University of Aruba host the 1st International Island States/Island Territories Conference: Sharing Stories of Island Life, Governance and Global Engagement


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.

Close to 100 delegates participated in the 1st International Conference on Small Island States and Subnational Island Jurisdictions, 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 UPEI/University of Malta UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability. Attending and/or presenting from UPEI were Conference Chair Dr. Jim Randall; conference organizer Dr. Laurie Brinklow; and UPEI students Patrick Lévêque, Louise Campbell, Catherine Gallant, Margaret Paterson, and Kimberly Wishart Chu-Foon. MAIS graduate Owen Jennings, now a PhD student at University of Hawai'i at Manoa, also presented a paper. UNESCO Co-chair Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino was one of four distinguished keynote speakers, along with Dr. Peter Clegg from the University of the West of England, Sint Maarten Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin, and Aruba Prime Minister Evelyna C. Wever-Croes.

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. There were 18 local conference presenters from many disciplines, including local lecturers from three University of Aruba faculties.

The conference also awarded 6 international Student Travel Scholarships and 20 local University of Aruba students joined the sessions as part of their curriculum. Scholarship winners included Owen Jennings, a graduate of the Master of Arts in Island Studies (MAIS) program and now a PhD student at the University of Hawai’i; and Patrick Lévêque, a current student in the MAIS program. Five other UPEI faculty and students presented papers, including Dr. Laurie Brinklow (Lecturer in Island Studies), Kimberly Wishart Chu-Foon (PhD candidate, Environmental Studies), and MAIS students Margaret Paterson, Louise Campbell, and Catherine Gallant.


Six students received scholarships to attend the conference, including (2nd from right) Owen Jennings, a graduate of the Master of Arts in Island Studies (MAIS) program and now a PhD student at the University of Hawai’i; and (far right) Patrick Lévêque, a current student in the MAIS program.

The international participants enjoyed an Aruban Welcome with a conference dinner at the Old Cunucu House and a field trip to Aruba’s San Nicolas district where they also visited the Industrial Museum to get to know about Aruba’s island history.
Additionally, we are very proud to have had two female Heads of Government as keynote speakers addressing integrity in governance and the resilience of islands; both the Honourable Evelyna C. Wever-Croes, Prime Minister of Aruba & Minister of General Affairs, Integrity, Energy, Innovation, & Government Organization, as well as the Honourable Leona Romeo-Marlin, Prime Minister of Sint Maarten & Minister of General Affairs, graced us with their insights.

Keynote speakers and dignitaries join conference organizers on-stage at the University of Aruba: (Back row, l-r): Dr. Glenn Thode, Rector, University of Aruba; Dr. Peter Clegg, Professor, University of the West of England; Dr. Laurie Brinklow, Island Studies, UPEI; Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino, UNESCO Co-chair in Island Studies and Sustainability, University of Malta; (Front row, l-r): Dr. Armando Lampe, Minister of Education, Science and Sustainable Development; Ms. Evelyna C. Wever-Croes, Prime Minister of Aruba; His excellency Juan Alfonso Boekhoudt, Governor of Aruba; Ms. Leona Romeo-Marlin, Prime Minister of Sint Maarten; and Dr. Jim Randall, Conference Chair and UNESCO Co-chair in Island Studies and Sustainability, University of Prince Edward Island.    


The community enjoyed a free public lecture by Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino organized alongside the conference on the evening of March 28, whereby the University was honoured to receive the attendance of the Governor of Aruba.

The conference’s international planning committee was chaired by UNESCO co-chair, Dr. Jim Randall (UPEI) with help from UNESCO Chair Co-ordinator Dr. Laurie Brinklow. Local co-hosts included Deborah Alexander from the Centre for Lifelong Learning at University of Aruba, Glenn Thodé, Rector of the University of Aruba, Patrick Arens, Business Director of the University of Aruba, and Arno Boersma and Francielle Laclé from the COE. The planning committee comprised scholars from several academic institutions including the University of the West Indies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, University of Malta, Leiden University, and the University of the West of England.


Members of the the conference organizing committee (back row, l-r): Godfrey Baldacchino, Deborah van den Berg-Alexander, Tracy Werleman, Glenn Thodé, Peter Clegg, Arno Boersma; (front row, l-r): Francielle Laclé, Jeanne de Brujin, Jim Randall, Laurie Brinklow, and Charisse Hoen. (Several were missing from the photo.)

Jim Randall noted that this was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the intellectual capacity and hospitality of the University of Aruba and the island in general. “Several first-time international delegates said to me that this will not be the last time they plan on visiting Aruba.” 

The Planning Committee is grateful for the contributions made by the sponsors to this event. These include The Dutch Ministry of Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations, Guardian Group Fatum, the University of the West of England, Aruba Tourism Authority, the Think to Do Institute, Smit&Dorlas, and Aruba Aloe.

For more information, see the conference website, or contact Laurie Brinklow at or Deborah Alexander at


from our Research Associates

New 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, 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’.



Franklin (Frank) Pigot Memorial Lecture Series presents
Stand For Your Lessons
with John Cousins

Tuesday, April 23
7:00-8:30 p.m.
Eptek Centre, Summerside

As part of UPEI’s 50th anniversary, the Robertson Library is presenting a lecture series to celebrate the historical roots of higher education on Prince Edward Island and its future. The series is named after educator Frank Pigot, honoured as a UPEI Founder for his work building the library’s PEI Collection and University Archives.

PEI historian and folklorist John Cousins will present a lecture entitled “Stand for Your Lessons: Educational Change and Cultural Reaction.” This illustrated talk will be Tuesday, April 23 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. in the Eptek Centre in Summerside.

The period between 1960 and the early 1970s brought the most dramatic change in Island education since the creation of the one-room district schools in the early 1850s. The consolidation of the public schools saw the disappearance of a major element in Island culture. This presentation will examine the impact of that change on rural Island communities, on their families and on the children who were “consolidated.” Further, a main question remains to be examined: what lessons can learned by using prior experience as a guide to evaluate how elements of culture may react during dramatic, and sometimes traumatic, change?

Refreshments will be provided. All are welcome.






Governance in Rural Contexts: Concepts & Challenges​
Wednesday April 10, 2019 @ 10:00 a.m. CST​
Join Dr. Brendan O’Keeffe, Dr. Francisco Navarro & David J.A. Douglas on this webinar
Governance is a particularly promising but challenging way to help rural communities acquire agency - to get things done. And the conceptualization of governance as a collaborative undertaking, selectively involving government, was largely initiated and refined outside of rural contexts. But the realities of rural contexts involving significant distance (in every sense, from markets to political power), and lower densities (again, in every sense, from population to institutions) means that governance has to be critically examined and prudently applied to rural community development. This webinar will critically re-visit the basic thesis of governance, highlight some of the salient characteristics of rurality that will impinge upon its application to rural contexts and development priorities, suggest a conceptual framework for rural governance, provide a number of case studies of rural governance experiences (Ireland and Spain), and encourage discussion, sharing and critical reflection on this topic. The webinar will address policy challenges at all levels (e.g. national, regional and local) and the need to ensure the best "fit" to facilitate endogenous process. 
Weaving Indigenous Wellbeing, Research & Ethics: Community and Campus Prespectives in Canada
April 25, 2019 @ 12:00 p.m. EST
To Register: CLICK HERE

The webinar will feature the work and vision of four Indigenous leaders working in community-campus engagement. Two Professors from Saskatchewan (Michelle Johnson-Jennings, PhD) and British Columbia (Dr. Michelle Pidgeon) and two community leaders from the National Association of Friendship Centres in Ottawa (Jennifer Rankin and Shady Hafez) will focus on ethical research, Indigenous knowledges, equitable partnerships and how higher education and other Canadian allies can collectively support Indigenous community health and wellbeing. They will explore the challenges they face, opportunities for the future, and specific recommendations for policy, funding, culture, and program changes.


Sustainable Communities

2019 North Atlantic Forum & CRRF Conference, October 1-4, 2019, St. John’s,
Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada


Memorial University and the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation (CRRF) and its North Atlantic partners are planning for the 2019 North Atlantic Forum and CRRF Conference in St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada in October 2019.

Save the date and plan your participation in the Sustainable Communities Forum.  Join rural practitioners, researchers, government, business and non-profit representatives for inspiring presentations, breakout sessions, and interactive discussions on the stresses and solutions of sustainable communities.

The 2019 North Atlantic Forum and the  Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation Conference will bring together practitioners, policy makers, community leaders, and researchers interested in rural sustainability issues.  This conference is a unique opportunity to share your own successes, learn from other, and to hear the latest on issues that matter to communities and people who live and work in rural regions.

The conference organizing committee will accept abstracts for oral presentations, panels, capacity building sessions, and posters for 2019 conference until April 15, 2019. The conference theme is Sustainable Communities, with a focus on:

  • Labour Market and Labour Mobility, The Future of Rural Work
  • Food Security (Agriculture, Fisheries, Aquaculture)
  • Drinking Water in Rural and Remote Communities
  • Cultural and Heritage Industries – Rural Identity, Tourism, Social Enterprise
  • Rural Engagement

Submit your proposed session here through our online process:



Now taking applications for course- and work-study Master of Arts in Island Studies in Island Tourism and Sustainable Island Communities for September 2019

UPEI is recognized as the world leader in delivering a quality Island Studies education, successfully offering a thesis-based Master of Arts in Island Studies program for more than 15 years.

In September 2019, we will be starting a second cohort of the new Island Tourism specialization  designed to meet the needs of current and future island-based tourism industry managers, executives, and other professional and public sector researchers. At the same time we are adding a brand-new cohort specializing in Sustainable Island Communities. The specialization in Sustainable Island Communities combines concepts of community development with practices of sustainability on islands to create a cutting-edge post-graduate degree. This focus area is ideal for students interested in the interdependence of physical, ecological, economic, political, cultural and social issues and who want to strengthen their abilities to become effective agents of community change
An additional focus area in International Relations, Islands, and Public Policy will be offered in 2020. Ask the Program Coordinator Jim Randall at or (902) 620-5013 for more details about the various programs or how to apply.

Course-based stream students participate in hybrid model delivery courses, with all courses delivered through a combination of online, video and face-to-face instruction. You can choose to undertake your degree at home or you can come to Prince Edward Island to complete your degree on the beautiful UPEI campus.

And don't forget that the thesis-based program is still accepting applications!


For more information, go to:

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