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Listening for the Dead Bells
Highland Magic on Prince Edward Island 

by Marian Bruce

Sunday, September 22, 2019, 2-4 p.m.
Sir Andrew Macphail Homestead, Orwell


PEI author Marian Bruce will launch her new book, Listening for the Dead Bells, on Sunday September 22, from 2 to 4 pm at the Sir Andrew Macphail Homestead in Orwell. 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. Bruce will be joined by fiddler Amy Swenson. Listening for the Dead Bells is published by Island Studies Press at the University of Prince Edward Island. 

Listening for the Dead Bells, by Marian Bruce (published by Island Studies Press)

Mysterious lights, howling dogs, ringing sounds in the ear: these omens of death are part of a treasury of supernatural beliefs transmitted through centuries and across the Atlantic Ocean. Part memoir, part oral history, Listening for the Dead Bells reflects on stories about bad fairies, witch control, bòcans, second sight, divination, healing incantations, attitudes toward death, and other links between Prince Edward Island and the Highlands and islands of Scotland.

Marian Bruce, a former journalist, is the author of six books. Her book on farm horses, Remembering Old Dan, won the PEI Book of the Year Award for non-fiction in 2012. A descendant of 19th-century immigrants from the Isle of Skye, she grew up in a community influenced by Highland customs, beliefs, music, and supernatural tales. After decades of working in cities across Canada, she now lives in High Bank in the farmhouse where she was born and raised.

Please join Island Studies Press and Marian Bruce in celebrating this new book. For more information about the book or the launch, please contact Bren at or 902-566-0386.





Our Island Lecture Series resumes Tuesday, October 22, in the UPEI Main Building Faculty Lounge on UPEI Campus. We'll have more details soon, but we do know that the focus will be on the Faroe Islands!

The next lectures are November 19 and December 10. Hope to see you then!


IIS hosts Charlottetown Forum at UPEI's Duffy Amphitheatre

Around the world, we are seeing dramatic shifts in technology and people’s behaviour to help address environmental problems. Here on Prince Edward Island, we are playing our part by banning single-use plastic shopping bags, installing heat pumps in our homes, retrofitting buildings to make them more efficient, growing/buying local food, and separating our compost and recyclables as part of our province-wide WasteWatch system – to name just a few. 
But while individual action can make an important contribution to addressing problems like climate change, complex environmental challenges can’t be solved without government leadership. That’s why on Thursday, October 3, 2019, several organizations from across the Island* are organizing all-candidates’ forums in all four of the Island’s federal ridings – part of the 100 Debates on the Environment, a non-partisan all-candidates’ debate on the environment. This is a national effort across 100 Canadian ridings, in which citizens ask candidates representing major political parties to put their best policy ideas forward. The Institute of Island Studies will host the Charlottetown Forum at the Duffy Amphitheatre, with Dr. Jim Randall serving as Moderator.
The environment is a top issue for Canadians. Nationally, 57% of voters indicate that they are at least “very concerned” by climate change and 31% say it will be a priority issue for them when they go to the polls. Our organizations and many members of the community hope that you will attend this debate so we can better understand your position on critical environmental issues.
Each of the 100 debates happening nationwide will include four common questions that focus on climate change, wilderness conservation, water, and pollution; and additional questions of local relevance will also be asked.
Public polling consistently shows support for environmental leadership has never been higher, but this kind of support doesn’t always translate into action from our elected leaders. The debate on October 3, two weeks before the federal election, will put candidates face-to-face with voters who want bold, urgent action on the environment. 
Be sure to mark your calendars – October 3, 7-9 p.m. – for these all-candidates’ debates. Here’s where they’ll be:
Malpeque – Hunter River Community Centre
Charlottetown – Duffy Amphitheatre, University of Prince Edward Island
Cardigan – Kaylee Hall, Pooles Corner
Egmont – Linkletter Community Centre
Stay tuned for more details as we get closer to the date!
For more information, please contact:
Egmont: Barbara Graham (
Malpeque: Ann Wheatley, Environmental Coalition of PEI (
Charlottetown: Laurie Brinklow, Institute of Island Studies, UPEI (   
Cardigan: Maureen Kerr (
*Participating organizations include the Environmental Coalition of PEI, the Institute of Island Studies, Pesticide Free PEI, PEI Environmental Health Cooperative, Cooper Institute, Save our Seas and Shores PEI, PEI Chapter of the Council of Canadians, Atlantic Canada Chapter of the Sierra Club, Blue Dot PEI, Citizens’ Alliance of PEI, Don’t Frack PEI, Nature PEI, Latin American Mission Program,  Happy Ocean PEI, UPEI Environmental Society, Friends of Covehead & Brackley Bay, Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water, Green Economy Network, Trade Justice PEI, Green Economy Network, PEI Watershed Alliance.



Islands Webinar Series:
Wildness, islandness and place-based rural development:
The case of Kangaroo Island, Australia

Dr Neil Argent, Professor of Human Geography at the University of New England,
Armidale, New South Wales, Australia
9am–10:30am BST on Wednesday, September 11, 2019
The growing scholarly interest in the application of social-ecological systems thinking to broad sustainability issues has yielded up the equally popular notion of resilience. Although not always well-defined, resilience is commonly seen as a desirable characteristic of firms, institutions, communities and the like, and is increasingly seen as providing a valuable lens for rural social scientific research endeavour. Understanding the factors that contribute to or detract from resilience at the regional and local scales is, by and large, an empirical matter. Drawing on a larger project which is investigating the long-run social, economic and demographic trajectories of Australian rural communities from a combined evolutionary economic geography and staples theory perspective, this paper explores the role of entrepreneurial agents and institutional innovation in the building and maintenance of resilient if staples-dependent rural economies.
Using a case study of Kangaroo Island (South Australia), Neil Argent explores the parts played local farmer/entrepreneurs and extra-local institutions in re-creating markets for the Island’s comparative advantage: wool, meat and grain. In doing so, this process of "market making" has allowed Island farmers to redefine their economic and social path (and place) dependence, providing the Island with some form of resilience to the major ‘shocks’ that frequently accompany natural resource dependence and reliance on export markets.
Dr Neil Argent’s research and teaching focus on the evolving population, economic and social geography of rural areas. His research interests to some extent are a reflection of his earlier working life as a farm hand, shearer and grazier. Over the past two decades and via a series of Australian Research Council Discovery-Project grants he has helped demonstrate the impact of financial sector restructuring on rural town economies, the relative importance of population density in influencing the demographic and economic characteristics of rural communities, the role of amenity as a driver of inter-regional migration into rural areas, and the dimensions, causes and implications of youth migration for sending regions and localities. More recently, Neil has investigated the processes underlying demographic decline and numerical and structural ageing across rural regions of south-eastern Australia. He is also currently exploring the rise of the craft beer brewing sector in rural Australia, along with its contributions to local economic development. 
To join the webinar through your PC or phone, please rsvp to the organisers at Scotland's Rural College: If you are keen to test the technology before the webinar, please get in touch and they can organise a suitable date/time to do this.

Those people who are based in/near Edinburgh are once again welcome to come to SRUC to join the webinar if you wish (tea/coffee and light refreshments will be available).

October 6-10, 2019

Sharing knowledge for resilient, sustainable and prosperous islands

The first ever Virtual Island Summit is a free and entirely online event designed to connect global islands to share their common experiences through a digital platform. Join islanders from around the world to share ideas, good practices and solutions.


Free access to world-class experts. The Virtual Island Summit is a free event to attend in order to ensure maximum accessibility to expertise from a variety of fields.

Interactive sessions in various formats. The Summit will imitate a traditional in-person event with opportunities to interact with speakers and other attendees with the goal of creating an online community.

A diverse range of viewpoints. Speakers and attendees from 100+ island communities including the Arctic, Caribbean, Europe, Indian Ocean, Pacific Islands, South America and beyond…

A zero carbon conference. The Summit will use modern technology to maximize opportunities for participation and minimize harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

The SDGs and beyond. The Summit will covers all 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in addition to other topics pertinent to island communities.

Cross-sector collaboration. The Summit will emphasize the need for input and partnerships from across the private, public, academic and NGO sectors.

Interested? Sign up today!




June 22-26, 2020
DEADLINE: November 1, 2019

The International Small Islands Studies Association 2020 Conference: Sharing Lessions, Sharing Stories, will be helad at Memorial University's Signal Hill Campus in beautiful St. John's, NL, Canada. Please save the date to attend. We can't wait to share our island with you!

The Call for Abstracts is now open. To submit your abstract please go to the submission portal. If you have used the portal before, you can simply log in. If you haven't used the portal before, create an account. Once you are logged in, click on "create new submission" and choose ISISA 2020 from the drop-down menu. You can come back to your submission as many times as you want. When you are happy with the submission click "submit." After you submit your abstract, you will not be able to edit the submission. The deadline for abstracts submission is Friday, November 1, 2019. 

We are very pleased that our colleagues from the Canadian Association for Irish Studies are joining us for the last day of the conference as they gear up for their own conference on North Atlantic Worlds from June 25-28. This is a great opportunity to particpate in both conferences in a unique location that is the island of Newfoundland. Please visit their website for more information. 


2nd International Conference on Island Economies
Island Tourism

Haikou, Hainan
August 20-23, 2019

The 2nd International Conference on Island Economies took place on Hainan Island, August 20-23, 2019, co-sponsored by the Foreign Affairs Office of Hainan Province, the Institute of Island Studies, and the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability. The conference featured five international speakers from Australia, the US, Japan, Italy, and Canada; and ten speakers from China. Dr. Jim Randall from University of Prince Edward Island was one of the international speakers, with his closing address entitled "The Future of Island Tourism Research and Practice." Other sessions focused on "How to Ensure International Tourism Benefits Islanders," "What Should Governments Do (and Not Do) to Support Island Tourism," "Marketing and Branding Island Tourist Destinations," and "Making International Island Tourism Sustainable."

Jim's PowerPoint presentation, along with the full conference program and more photos, will be available on the UNESCO Chair website shortly. 
 UNESCO Co-chair in Island Studies and Sustainability, Dr. Jim Randall, with participants from the 2nd International Conference on Island Economies: Island Tourism.



2019 Sustainable Communities Conference
2019 North Atlantic Forum & CRRF Conference
October 1-5, 2019, St. John’s, NL

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 1-5, 2019.

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 program, complete with keynote speakers, can be found here. In a nutshell, here's what's on tap: 

Wednesday, Oct 2, 2019, Friday, Oct 4, 2019, Saturday, October 5, 2019 – Keynote Addresses and Parallel Sessions, with Knowledge Mobilization Sessions – Podcasting, Webinars, e-Newsletters, and different presentation formats, covering the following themes:

  • Labour market and Labour Mobility, The Future of Rural Work
  • Food Systems (agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture) and Drinking Water in Rural and Remote Communities
  • Cultural and Heritage Industries and Rural Identity, Tourism, Social Enterprise
  • Rural Engagement

Thursday, October 3, 2019 –  Field Trips with tours and panel sessions, with academic and community experts:

  • Ferryland (Heritage and tourism)
  • Petty Harbour/Lesters’ Farm and aquaponics facility (Social enterprise, food security and rural development)
  • Bell Island (Provision of mental health and addiction services in rural communities)
  • Carbonear (Craft breweries and distilleries as drivers of regional development)

Please click here to register.

This e-mail is distributed by the Institute of Island Studies. If you'd like more information about any of the items, please contact Laurie at or (902) 894-2881.

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