Island Studies News | July 2021

Island Studies News | July 2021

A note from the editor:

Welcome to the July edition of the Island Studies Newsletter!
This month’s edition is more concise than June’s since we have fewer events during the summer months. But there are still plenty of publications to add to your summer reading (and listening) list! We have books, articles, podcasts, blog posts from our UPEI MAIS students, and plenty of recordings from last month’s ISISA Conference to fill your days! So I hope you can find some time to dive into some new articles or sit back and enjoy a podcast.

Whether your climate is heating up or cooling down this month I encourage you all to enjoy your July and take care!
- Megan Lane

Bright spot: P.E.I. Made History by Setting a Timeline for Eliminating Food Insecurity
During the spring sitting, the P.E.I. legislature unanimously passed the Poverty Elimination Strategy Act, which lays out a timeline for reducing and eliminating poverty by 2035 and eliminating food insecurity by 2030. That means that, by 2030, every household in P.E.I. will be able to access the food they need.

Latest from Island Studies at UPEI

Island Studies leader Jim Randall retires

After nine years as Coordinator of the Master of Arts in Island Studies (MAIS) program and Chair of the Institute of Island Studies (IIS) Executive Committee, Jim Randall is retiring. 

Trained as an economic and urban geographer, this native of Ontario moved with his family from the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George to Prince Edward Island in 2010 to take up the post of VP Academic at UPEI. In 2012 he became Coordinator of the MAIS program, teaching in the MAIS and Island Studies Minor programs and undertaking a supervisory role for several master’s students. When he arrived, the MAIS program had 28 thesis students and 21 graduates. Since 2018 when he introduced the work/study program, enrolment has more than doubled and MAIS alumni now total 50. More than half the incoming students are now international students. Students and staff agree that the current success of the program is due to Jim's vision, persistence, and hard work. 
As Chair of the Institute's Executive Committee, Jim built on the Institute’s reputation as an “honest broker” that is recognized for doing research that contributes to evidence-based policymaking. This led to a collaboration with the Community Foundation of Prince Edward Island to research and produce the 2019 Vital Signs report that went into households across the Island, as well as various resesarch contracts with the Government of PEI. The most recent, to undertake a four-year “Indicators of Well-being” study with the Government of PEI, is now under way with a province-wide survey set to launch in the fall.
Jim was named UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability co-chair (with Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino from the University of Malta) from 2016 to 2020 and became sole Chair in 2020. Throughout that time he has demonstrated true leadership, securing several research contracts with funding from the Government of PEI, ACOA, the Foreign Affairs Office of Hainan Province, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC), among others. His most recent project is curating a series of 24 COVID-19 Island Insights papers from islands around the globe in collaboration with the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance and Island Innovation. The papers form the basis of a policy initiative that will be presented at COP-26 in Glasgow in November.
The author of dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, Jim is Executive Editor of and contributor to the Global Islands Report 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020, published in affiliation with the Foreign Affairs Office of Hainan Province. His groundbreaking textbook, An Introduction to Island Studies, was published in 2021 with Island Studies Press and Rowman & Littlefield.
Jim was presented with the Faculty Association's Merit Award for Outstanding Service in 2019, and UPEI's Katherine Schultz Research Recognition Award in 2018. Upon his retirement the University bestowed upon him with the well-earned designation of Professor Emeritus. As Dr. Ed MacDonald (History) wrote in his nomination letter, “As someone who has been involved with the Institute of Island Studies since 1986 and with the MAIS program since its inception two decades ago, I think I can speak with some authority when I praise the tremendous contributions that he has made to those two, closely related enterprises. He has devoted his considerable energy and abilities to both, and both have prospered under his leadership.”
A builder and visionary, Jim Randall has left a legacy that will stand Island Studies @ UPEI in good stead for years to come. But we know Jim won’t be a stranger: fortunately, he and his wife Brenda have decided to continue to call PEI home. And he’s already agreed to lend his expertise to ongoing projects, and will continue to be part of the Island Studies family.

If you want to reach out to Jim to wish him well in his retirement, or let him know what his involvement in Island Studies has meant to you, feel free to contact him at his UPEI email address ( I'm sure he would be happy to hear from you.

Congratulations, Jim, on a well-earned retirement!

History of the Institute of Island Studies

In May of this year, first-year MAIS student Courtney Sark did an internship with the Institute of Island Studies (IIS)​​ to begin the process of creating a timeline from the Institute’s inception in 1980 to the hiring of Dr. Irené Novaczek in 2004. This is the first step in a larger project to record the rich history of the IIS. 
Over the course of six weeks, Courtney pored through binders that had been meticulously maintained throughout the Institute’s early days by founding Director Harry Baglole. She recorded key projects and recurring themes, and documented names and roles of personnel, Advisory Board and Committee members. 
Says Courtney, “While I wish I had more time to do everything needed for this project, I hope that what I have done will be helpful to the next person who continues on this project. This project has opened my eyes to all the Institute has accomplished and how important it is for PEI to have researchers at their fingertips for important, island-related projects and any information related to islands in general.”
The next step includes applying for Research Ethics and carrying out interviews with key stakeholders in the Institute’s four decades and counting. Stay tuned as the project unfolds!

Institute of Island Studies

The Institute of Island Studies at UPEI's Annual Report for 2020-21 is Now Available on our Website:
Click here to check it out along with explanations of our Purpose & Procedures, and our Strategic Plan.
UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability

Island Innovation Introduces New Interactive Map Featuring COVID-19 Island Insights Series 

Click on any of the islands tagged on the map to read a critical assessment on how that island has performed during the COVID-19 pandemic and the extent to which their recovery plans are able to promote long-term resilience and sustainability.

The COVID-19 Island Insights Series is an initiative led by the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law & Governance (SCELG) and the Institute of Island Studies (IIS) at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) in collaboration with Island Innovation. 

Island Studies Press

Joan Sullivan reviews Laurie Brinklow's new book in The Telegram.
"These poems are not detached from culture, economics or geography."
Christian Bouchard Reviews Jim Randall's textbook, An Introduction to Island Studies in Small States & Territories
"Randall’s knowledge and experience are mobilised to portray islands and island studies in a very comprehensive and insightful manner."

As always, we'd like to remind you that all of the Island Studies Press books that you read about in our newsletter are available for sale in bookstores and online!

UPEI Bookstore Online | Island Studies Press website

Research Associates

The Institute of Island Studies at UPEI has an active Research Associate program. Here is a taste of what some of our Research Associates have been up to lately:

Dr. Mark Lapping
Peter E. Buker and Mark Lapping
In Shaping the Future of Small Islands: Roadmap for Sustainable Development, edited by John Laing Roberts, Shyam Nath, Satya Paul, and Yeti Nisha Madhoo.
Palgrave Macmillan | 2021

Dr. Gerard Prinsen
Koning, JD., Hobbis, SK., McNeill, J., & Prinsen, G. (2021). 'Vacating place, vacated space? A Research Agenda for Places Where People Leave.' Journal of Rural Studies. 82, 271-278.

To learn more about the IIS Research Associate program and our current Research Associates, visit

Master of Arts in Island Studies (MAIS) Students & Alumni


Kudos to MAIS Alumnus Patrick Augustine (2009) on receiving his PhD from the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies from Carleton University. Congratulations, Dr. Augustine!

The Dark and Light of Island Life
New Poetry Collection by Courtney Sark

First-year MAIS student Courtney Sark published her first poetry chapbook entitled, The Dark and Light of Island Life. Her poems deal with intergenerational trauma and mental health.

Call for participants in UPEI graduate research project on art & climate change adaptation. 

Ilse van Dijk, a research intern at UPEI, is looking for artists and policy-makers to interview.
Ilse will be conducting her research remotely from Groningen in The Netherlands, where she is a student in the research master Spatial Sciences with the specialization Islands & Sustainability.

"In my research, I’m looking for a way to integrate art and artistic processes into climate change adaptation policies and policy-making. The underlying idea is that artistic work can stimulate creative thinking and innovation, and also potentially be a connector between policy and the community. I am hoping to speak with artists and policy-makers working with climate change and adaptation, as well as any others with insight into the topics of climate change art, climate change adaptation or artistic policies."

If you or someone you know is interested in participating in an interview, or if you have thoughts or literature to share with Ilse, please contact her at for more information or visit her project blog.

MAIS Program Capstone Course 

The final class for several of the Master of Arts in Island Studies (MAIS) students provided a one-of-a-kind experience June 26, pivoting from Zoom to – appropriately for an Island Studies course – the North Shore of Prince Edward Island. 

Following Parks Canada COVID-19 protocols, Instructor Dr. Phil Davison arranged for students in his IST-6200 Capstone Communications Management and Island Issues course to meet in person at the Cavendish Campground to present their final portfolios. Three of the twelve students, Tai “Ken” Nguyen, Clay Appell, and Dennis Lee, joined the first part of the class remotely via Zoom, but the rest enjoyed meeting one another in person – and some for the first time. Presenting were Orsa Beck, Nick Burnie, Logan Dawson, Chelsea Morrison, Galina Liou, Adebayo “Michael” Olubyi, Sandra Otu, Spencer Thompson, and Kai Wang.

He invited Dr. Laurie Brinklow to end the evening with a reading from her island-inspired poetry book, My island’s the house I sleep in at night.

Says Dr. Davison, “I think the last class of 6200 was inspiring and the poetic ending was perfect – very moving against the backdrop of shadow sky, blazing fire and setting sun. After a year of gathering via Zoom, being outside made for a powerful evening where conversation and laughter could soar. Students shared their individual learning journeys using Portfolios which offered reflections on their experiences and work in Island Studies. I hope the evening was memorable; especially, for those students who are finishing the program. Spencer's ‘I am an Islander’ song at the end was rousing and provided a nice moment of levity - we all joined in for the chorus!”


MAIS work/study placements

The 2020 summer semester had a record number of MAIS students enrolled in the IST-6210 and 6220 Theory and Practice of Island Research I and II courses, with 13 students doing one or two placements with 16 government departments and organizations. They included the PEI Dept. of Agriculture & Land’s Strategic Policy and Evaluation Division; PEI Department of Environment, Water and Climate Change; PEI Department of Rural Economic Development - Fisheries and Communities; PEI Executive Council Office; the PEI Policy Hackathon; the Cavendish Resort Municipality; Parks Canada; the Federation of PEI Municipalities; City of Charlottetown; Community Foundation of PEI; and the Institute of Island Studies (IIS). International placements included the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance (SCLEG); Icelandic Tourism Research Center; Community Development Lens, CoDeL, in Scotland; United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Caribbean Sub-Regional Office; and Island Innovation.

Students met with their placement supervisors and carried out their research using remote technology, with students Zooming in from China, Turkey, and Toronto; and Zooming out to Scotland, Iceland, and the Caribbean.

Says course instructor Dr. Phil Davison, “Despite COVID restrictions which prevented in-person practicum placements, the MAIS Theory and Practice courses provided students with a unique learning opportunity. Working with organizations, communities, and government agencies – locally, nationally, and internationally – students conducted applied research and engaged virtually with supervisors and organizations. Each week, students shared their progress in our Zoom class and reviewed literature that supported their work – lots of great conversations in a virtual classroom where time zones merged and unique insights were shared. The final projects were presented over two evenings during which the supervisors and, in several instances, members of the community, joined the discussion.”

The MAIS program – students and professors alike – are indebted to the organizations at home and abroad for taking on students, making for a rich and powerful learning experience. We couldn’t do it without you!
New blog post from Ken Atlantic:

Covid-19: A Shock For Human Beings, But A Grace Period For Small Island Development States’ Tourism Innovations
In the midst of Covid situation getting complicated in many countries due to the 4th Wave and new variants., Ken gives his two cents on the tourism potential recovery for Small Island Developing States.

Reminder: MAIS Graduate Student Profiles
All current MAIS students are invited (and encouraged!) to submit their info to have their profile added to the MAIS Graduate Student Profile page ( All you have to do is send us your information and we will do the rest!

➔ Go to to submit your information

To learn more about the Master of Arts in Island Studies (MAIS) program, visit

Upcoming Virtual Events

Island Innovation's annual Virtual Island Summit
Island Innovation is proud to announce their annual Virtual Island Summit for this year will be held September 6-11. This is a free online event designed to connect global islands and share their common experiences. Join islanders from around the world and share ideas, best practices and solutions.
The Virtual Island Summit 2021 offers:
  • Access to world-class sustainability experts
  • Interactive sessions
  • Viewpoints from a diverse range of speakers
  • Cross sector collaboration
  • A zero carbon conference experience
  • Insights and discussions about the SDGs
Click Here to register for free!

 Creating Inclusive Economies: Building Bridges Between Public, Private and Civil Society Sectors (CRRF)
In the interest of the health and well-being of participants, organizers and the host community during the continued uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual conference of the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation (CRRF), slated for September 29-30, 2021, will be taking place virtually.
Stay tuned to their website for updates on event presentations, panels, and how to register as they are released!


Pacific History Association Biennial Conference 2021:
‘In Their Own Words’
November 17–20, 2021 | Combined face-to-face/virtual conference
Call for papers – Submissions due by August 31, 2021

Strategically, the Pacific is at the centre of global debates on climate change and sustainable development, and there has been a resurgence in historical indigenous knowledge as a solution to contemporary challenges in our societies. How can history become more visible and more audible as a strong voice in public discourse on the environment, traditional knowledge, faith, migration, health, and education? The 2021 PHA is an opportunity for scholars, for historians in particular, both from the Pacific Islands and beyond, to reimagine, resource and reshape our region’s past, present and future.
Full details available at

Recent Webinar & Event Recordings

ISISA 2021 Missed the Live Session? View the Recording!

Recent Podcast Recordings

Coastal Connections: Stories from the Atlantic has released another episode: Rethinking Waste!
A pile of fish guts or a pile or gold? In this episode, we dive into one of the greatest challenges facing many outport communities: how can we use our resources more sustainably and efficiently? Find out how a man in Mainbrook, NL is transforming what others may consider ‘waste’ through his company, 3F Waste Recovery. In this case, the only thing that could be wasted, is an opportunity! Listen to learn more on how this type of innovation is bringing a paradigm shift throughout rural communities of NL and beyond! In this episode, we hear from: Ben Wiper of 3F Waste Recovery Ben has featured in many radio talks, news articles, and even spoke during the Blue Economy Summit. 3F Waste Recovery is continuing to develop new products and spread its impact throughout the country. To learn more about 3F and their products, or to make contact, you can visit their website or follow their social media.
Click here to listen to the full episode.
Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity's Podcast Viewpoints
'Ep. 2 People, Place, and Time: Indigenous Perspectives on Climate'
Hosted by Byron Flekke with Indigenous guests from around the world, VIEWPOINTS episode two will explore Indigenous perspectives on climate. Is infinite growth on a finite planet possible? How do we get involved beyond the blue box in dealing with climate change? There is technology that is helping and there is work going on that you might not be aware of.



Anthropocene Islands Virtual Reading Group
Next meeting: July 29th at either 10am London Time or 5pm London Time
  • Teaiwa K. M. (2011) ‘Recovering Ocean Island,’ Life Writing, 8(1), pp. 87-100. Article available here
  • Teaiwa K. M. (2020) Visualizing Banaba: Art and Research about a Diffracted Pacific Island. Refract: An Open Access Visual Studies Journal, 3(1) 10.5070/R73151194 Article available here (presented by Katerina Teaiwa)

Anthropocene Islands: Early Career Analytical Study Space
Launching on June 27, 2021
These sessions will be a relaxed space where early career scholars can discuss the different ways in which islands and islanders are being thought about in broader Anthropocene debates and literatures. Full details here

Master’s and PhD opportunities: University of Malta
As of October 2021, the Islands and Small States Institute (ISSI) at the University of Malta is offering a fully online or blended Master by research in Islands and Small States studies (full-time or part-time), as well as a Ph.D. programme. More details

Recent Publications

As always, this is by no means an exhaustive list. If there's something that you think we've missed, or if you have any forthcoming publications that we should be aware of, please let us know!

Anthropocene Islands: Entangled Worlds
by Jonathan Pugh and David Chandler, published by University of Westminster Press.

Anthropocene Islands: Entangled Worlds by Jonathan Pugh and David Chandler, published by University of Westminster Press.
The book is available for purchase from Amazon and bookstores, and is also available for free download from University of Westminster Press in EPUB, Mobi, and PDF formats. 
If you would like a talk on the ‘Anthropocene Islands’ project please email
See also some of Jonathan Pugh's other recent publications this year:
Books featured at the recent ISISA Conference:
  • Stefano Malatesta et al's Atolls of the Maldives: Nissology and Geography (Rethinking the Island Series, Rowman & Littlefield, 2021)
  • Firouz Gaini and Helene Pristed Nielsen's Gender and Island Communities
     (Routledge, 2020)
  • Nenad Starc’s The Notion of Near Islands: The Croatian Archipelago (Rethinking the Island Series, Rowman & Littlefield, 2020)
  • Kathryn Burnett and Francesco Sindico’s Scotland and Islandness: Explorations in Community, Economy and Culture (Peter Lang, 2021).
  • Veselina Tomova’s children's book The Wall and The Wind (Nimbus, 2020)
  • Priya Parrotta Natarajan’s To Dream Again: Imagining Island Solidarity through Music (Music & the Earth International, 2021).
  • James Randall's An Introduction to Island Studies (Island Studies Press and Rowman & Littlefield, 2021)
  • Laurie Brinklow’s My island's the house I sleep in at night (Island Studies Press, 2021)

Latest Journal Issues:

Calls for Papers and Submissions

Society and Ecology in Island & Coastal Archaeology Book Series

Series editors Victor D. Thompson and Scott M. Fitzpatrick are seeking new proposals for this book series, published through University Press of Florida. Books in this series explore the nature of humanity’s relationship to these environments from a global perspective.
Read more about the series here; contact the editors if interested.

Island Studies Journal thematic sections:
Ongoing calls:

Applications for our interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Island Studies (MAIS) program are still open for the Winter Term

This program accepts students from all disciplinary backgrounds; all that we ask is that you have a passion for islands!

Winter application deadline: November 1

All supplementary application materials must be received no later than  November 8.

In addition to the long-running Thesis program, there are three course/work-study stream options:
  • Island Tourism
  • Sustainable Island Communities
  • International Relations & Island Public Policy.
For application and admission information and complete course descriptions, please visit the Master of Arts in Island Studies page on the University of Prince Edward Island website


Learn More
Do you have an island studies publication, upcoming event, new research, or other updates to share?
We would be delighted to share it with our global island studies network!
Submit details here
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