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Island Studies January Lecture...

“To be free is very sweet”:
The story of Mary Prince, a West Indian slave

with Dr. Margôt Maddison-MacFadyen

Tuesday, January 15, 2019, 7 p.m.
SDU Main Building Faculty Lounge, University of Prince Edward Island


The Island Lecture Series January lecture is Tuesday, January 15, at 7 p.m. in the SDU Main Building Faculty Lounge on the UPEI campus, and will feature Dr. Margôt Maddison-MacFadyen speaking on the topic, “To be free is very sweet”: The story of Mary Prince, a West Indian slave.

Spring Garden Moravian Mission Station, Antigua, circa 1822. A member of the Moravian congregation at Spring Garden from 1819, Mary Prince may be one of the figures seated under the Sandbox Tree in the mission’s courtyard. (Engraving by Johann Heinrich Stobwafser.)

The story of Bermudian slave Mary Prince is fascinating. In 1828 she freed herself when she walked out her owners’ door in London, England, and never came back. She is the first known black woman to escape colonial enslavement, tell her story of survival, and have it compiled and written down. The History of Mary Prince, A West Indian Slave, Related by Herself, first published in 1831, was part of a successful abolitionist strategy that pressured British Parliament to legislate into law freedom for enslaved British subjects throughout the British Empire. This was achieved through the 1833 Slavery Abolition Act that commenced on August 1, 1834. Born in Bermuda in 1787 or 1788, Prince also lived on three other islands: Grand Turk Island and Antigua in the West Indies, and Great Britain. Recent research suggests Prince returned to Antigua in 1833, but her death date is not known. She became a Bermudian National Hero in 2012. Join Dr. Margôt Maddison-MacFadyen on an historical-geographical journey through Mary Prince’s life, where she details primary source evidence that not only confirms Prince’s testimony, but broadens her story of slavery and freedom.

Dr. Margôt Maddison-MacFadyen lives at Rennies Road, PEI. She graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Interdisciplinary PhD Program in 2017. Her non-traditional dissertation is titled “Reclaiming Histories of Enslavement from the Maritime Atlantic and a Curriculum: The History of Mary Prince.” A recipient of a 2018 Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship, her current research project, “Mind the Onion Seed!”: Slave Narratives, Plant Knowledge, and Seventeenth- to Twentieth-Century Commerce in the Global North Atlantic, is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Maddison-MacFadyen is also currently investigating the latter years of Mary Prince’s life for the Government of Bermuda. A part-time academic staff member of the History and Geography Departments at Nipissing University, ON, she most recently developed and taught HIST 2026 – The British Slave Trade in the Atlantic. Maddison-MacFadyen is published in both academic and cultural journals, including Slavery & Abolition: A Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Studies, the Bermuda Journal of Archaeology and Maritime History, and the Newfoundland Quarterly.

Admission to the lecture is free and everyone is welcome to attend.

The next lecture is scheduled for February 19, 2019. Mark your calendars!

For more information, please contact Laurie at or (902) 894-2881.

And if ever you miss a lecture, be sure to check out the videos online

IN THE FIELD: National Archives of Antigua and Barbuda Mary Prince Education Heritage Tour, November 9, 2018. Photo taken at The Historical Tamarind Tree, Bethesda Village. The tamarind tree grows at the convergence of three Antiguan roadways. It marks the site where, in 1951, striking cane cutters met to organize their ultimately successful campaign against sugar barons. Power to the people! Front row (from left, sitting on stone): Zemilia Samuel and Catherine Parker; middle row: Kenisha Joseph, Narisha James, Esther Henry, Ineta Brooks, Margôt Maddison-MacFadyen, and Gary MacFadyen; back row: Olton Mitchell and Kevin Beazer. 


The Vinland Society presents
Iceland Dreaming... 

Sunday, January 20, 2019, 7 p.m.
The Carriage House, Beaconsfield
2 Kent Street, Charlottetown

The Vinland Society presents “Iceland dreaming...,” an evening devoted to all things Vinlandic. Be sure to book Sunday, January 20, 2019, 7 p.m., at the Carriage House at Beaconsfield (snow date: January 27). 

This year The Vinland Society has a special presentation lined up. Have you noticed the influx of Icelandic dairy products on our grocery store shelves? We're especially pleased to have Pamela Swainson, a descendant of Icelanders who settled in Manitoba in the early 20th century, joining us from Nova Scotia to discuss how to make your own Skyr: a high-protein yogurt from Iceland – a skill she learned from her Amma (Grandmother) as they had dairy cattle on their small farm. Pamela will also tell us about an artist residency that she did in Akureyri in 2016.

Also in the line-up are "Views from Greenland," presented by Dr. David Cairns, as part of a year devoted to exploring the "Vinland Arc" that stretches from Scandinavia to Iceland and over to eastern North America. And, taking our cue from past meetings where we've discussed travel under the theme: "So you want to go to Iceland..." we'll once again offer time for pictures and stories from your recent trips to Iceland. If you'd like to share your experiences, please send a note to David, along with 3-5 photos by January 13. 

And, as always, there'll be some fun Icelandic vocabulary and treats. 
We'll start with a short business meeting at 6 p.m. To that end, we need to fill several vacancies on the Vinland Board for 2019. If you're thinking about this, or even if you're not, read this personal testimonial from David: “The Vinland Society is the best Board membership experience of my life. The themes are always intriguing, the atmosphere is always convivial, it only meets a few times a year, and best of all we never have money problems (the cookie jar provideth).” If you are interested in standing for the Board please send an email to David, again, by January 13.
Contacts:  David Cairns, Laurie Brinklow, and Megan Macdonald


Congratulations to David Earl,
newly elected member of the States of Alderney!

Freshly armed with ideas for building a sustainable future on his tiny island of Alderney in the Channel Islands, Island Studies guest lecturer David Earl returned to Alderney last June and decided to run in the upcoming States election. On December 1, he was voted in, along with four other candidates, as a Member of the States of Alderney for a four-year term.

"Thanks to a grant from a philanthropic foundation I was able to visit other islands and take advantage of research done by the Islands & Small States institute at the University of Malta and the Institute of Island Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island," writes David in his campaign manifesto. "What quickly became clear from talking to Islanders from other jurisdictions is that we are not alone, particularly when it comes to the key issues of demographics and creating a sustainable future for our Island. I have learned a great deal from these trips."

David also visited Fogo Island, where he met with Zita Cobb of the Shorefast Foundation. He then attended the International Small Island Studies Association (ISISA) conference in Terschelling, Netherlands, which provided an excellent opportunity to hear presentations and network with representatives from other islands.

As we learned in David's lecture in June, Alderney is an island of just under 2,000 people, and is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey. Alderney is faced with an aging demographic: the median age in Alderney is 55 (compared with 44 in Guernsey and 38 in Jersey). With no prospects, young people are leaving the Island, many for good. Other challenges include good governance and sustainability.

"Despite these challenges," says David, "Alderney has many opportunities. We already have the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC), which contributes around £2 million to the Island’s economy. Likewise, the waters around Alderney could generate (please excuse the pun) substantial revenue from tidal energy. Added to this, the Island is in an ideal position to exploit niche tourism.Based on these, I believe that we can build a sustainable future for our Island."

We here in Island Studies send our heartiest congratulations to David, and are proud to know that our focus on studying islands on their own terms, and learning from one another, has practical applications on other islands around the world.


A call for geographers
to help host a conference

Are you a geographer by training or by research interest? UPEI has an opportunity to host the 2019 Atlantic Division of the Canadian Association of Geographers (ACAG) conference in Charlottetown in the Fall of 2019. Before we provide an answer to the association we'd like to see if there are other geographers (or geographers at heart) out there who might be interested in helping host this event. If so, please contact Jim Randall, Island Studies, or 902-620-5013, by January 10. This is a great opportunity to network with other regional faculty and graduate students who approach their research from a geographical perspective. We look forward to hearing from you.

UPEI signs MOU with
The University of the West Indies

In December, 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.

The UWI, which is rated in the top five percent of universities globally by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, was established in 1948 and currently serves 17 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean, all of them with the exception of one being island states. With eight faculties across its campuses in Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and an Open Campus with a presence in all 17 countries, The UWI’s vision is to be an excellent global university rooted in the Caribbean. SALISES is a research and graduate teaching entity located within The UWI’s School of Graduate Studies and Research. It aims to be an internationally renowned institution for graduate education and research-based solutions in development. Its mandate is to conduct training and research of a regional, multidisciplinary and policy-oriented nature to serve the needs of small developing countries like those in the Caribbean.

Remarking on the collaboration, Professor Aldrie Henry-Lee, University Director of SALISES, said,“We at SALISES are pleased to collaborate with colleagues at the Institute of Island Studies. We share similar research and teaching interests. This collaboration will enhance our publication, research and teaching on sustainable development for small and vulnerable economies.”

For his part, Professor James Randall, Chair of the Executive Committee under the direction of which IIS operates and co-chair of a UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability, said, “The IIS and its affiliated academic programs at the University of Prince Edward Island have established research and post-graduate learning networks with island-based colleagues and institutions around the world. We are pleased to  start developing productive research and exchange relationships with the world-class scholars and graduate students at SALISES and The UWI.”
The MOU is for an initial period of three years.



Island States/Island Territories Conference

Sharing Stories of Island Life, Governance and Global Engagement
The 1st International Conference on
Small Island States (SIS) and Subnational Island Jurisdictions (SNIJs)

Location: Oranjestad, Aruba
Venue: University of Aruba
Dates: 26-29 March 2019

You can now register for the Conference by clicking HERE.
Hosted by University of Prince Edward Island and University of Aruba
in collaboration with 
the Aruba Centre of Excellence (COE)
for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States


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 March 31, 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:

ISIC 15: Island Festivals and Music Tourism
July 9-13 2019, University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica

Please note that that the SUBMISSION DEADLINE for ISIC 15 has been EXTENDED to FEB 15. We are looking forward to receiving your abstracts and seeing you in Kingston!
ISIC 15: “Island Festivals and Music Tourism”
July 9–13 2019, University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica
The Institute of Caribbean Studies (University of the West Indies, Mona Campus), the Small Island Cultures Research Initiative (SICRI) and the Sydney Institute of Music and Sound Research welcome proposals for paper and/or panel presentations from any disciplinary field, as well as from managers and practitioners who are interested in island issues, to the 15th International Small Island Cultures (ISIC) Conference – on the theme of Island Festivals and Music Tourism.
Those interested to present papers on any aspect of the conference theme should submit a 200-word abstract to the conference organizing committee by email by FEBRUARY 15, 2019 at:


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:


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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