“It wasn’t a night unless you danced a set!”
Music, change, and community on an Irish island
with Rory McCabe

Tuesday, March 24, 2020 | 7 p.m. | SDU Main Building Faculty Lounge

The Island Lecture Series March lecture features guest Irish researcher Rory McCabe speaking about music from an island in County Mayo. Entitled “’It wasn’t a night unless you danced a set!’: Music, change, and community on an Irish island,” the lecture will be held Tuesday, March 24, 2020, at 7 p.m. in the SDU Main Building Faculty Lounge on the UPEI campus.

This talk will explore aspects of community-life and music-making on Clare Island, Co. Mayo (population 159) from the 1950s to the present. Grounded in ethnographic research, the lecture will analyze the changing contexts and settings of island music-making during this period. These changes reveal important aspects of community life often neglected in academic and popular discourse about Irish islands.

Rory McCabe (BMus, MA Ethnomusicology) is an Irish Research Council Scholar and PhD researcher at the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway. His research examines music-making and community-life on Clare Island located three miles off the Co. Mayo coastline. During March 2020 he will be an Ireland Canada University Foundation visiting scholar at the Institute of Island Studies at UPEI.

Admission to the lecture is free and everyone is welcome to attend. For more information, please contact Laurie at iis@upei.ca or (902) 894-2881.

The February issue of the Island Studies Newsletter is now online. Check out the latest news in the world of Island Studies!

Tenure Stream Position | Island Studies | Faculty of Arts

University of Prince Edward Island
Competition No. 02A20
Application Deadline: March 20, 2020

The Island Studies program at the University of Prince Edward Island welcomes applications for a tenure-stream position in Island Studies. This position builds on the growth of the Island Studies constellation at UPEI, one of the leading global sites for Island Studies scholarship, teaching and public engagement. The academic interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Island Studies (MAIS) program now has two options for students, a thesis track and a new course and work-study track with specializations in Island Tourism, Sustainable Island Communities and International Relations and Island Public Policy. When the MAIS program is combined with the Institute of Island Studies (IIS), the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability, and Island Studies Press, it creates a synergy that lives up to its vision, “To be the leading centre of excellence on issues related to island studies scholarship, public policy and engagement.” Both the MAIS program and the IIS play a pivotal role in Prince Edward Island (PEI) public policy formation, bridging the University and the community. They also serve as a hub for a network of island studies scholars and teachers throughout the world. 


Vital Signs report now available for download

New Vital Signs report provides snapshot of the quality of life on PEI
Publication is a partnership of the Community Foundation of PEI and UPEI’s Institute of Island Studies

A new report from the Community Foundation of PEI (CFPEI) and UPEI’s Institute of Island Studies provides a snapshot of the quality of life and well-being on Prince Edward Island. Vital Signs brings together publicly available research data, the analysis of subject experts, and focus group feedback from private, public, and not-for-profit sectors from different regions of the Island. The result is an easy-to-digest, comprehensive look at a wide range of interconnected topics from health to housing to education and the environment.

“The 2019 PEI Vital Signs report grew from the knowledge and experience of Islanders,” said Kent Hudson, executive director of the CFPEI. “The Community Foundation of PEI will continue to engage with people who care about their communities and each other to collaboratively build new mechanisms for addressing issues identified in the report. We are excited to be a part of building the collective power of philanthropy and civic engagement in PEI.”

“This report can serve as a roadmap for all of us as individuals and as organizations,” said Dr. Jim Randall, chair of the Institute of Island Studies. “After all, many of the best solutions come directly from the communities themselves. At its core, this report is about how Islanders view their own quality of life: what seems to be working and where we need to continue to focus our attention.”

The authors of Vital Signs selected 10 dimensions or themes of quality of life and well-being used in other studies in Canada and internationally, including health and well-being, people and work, housing, the environment, belonging and leadership, poverty, learning and educational attainment, arts and culture, diversity and getting started, and safety and security.

Across subjects, trends became apparent in terms of a gulf between Islanders’ expectations of public services, such as health, and the actual delivery of those services. An increase in hopelessness about the state of the environment, including climate change and sea level rise, was found, especially among youth. The authors also noted feelings of concern about the ability of Islanders to gain meaningful employment and stay on the Island after graduation.

The outlook isn’t entirely bleak. PEI’s overall economy has been performing well, and the province continues to attract new residents. Islanders also find life less stressful than people in the rest of Canada, in part through a strong sense of belonging to their local community.

Vital Signs is made possible by support from Rotary of Prince Edward Island, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and the Province of Prince Edward Island.

Vital Signs was distributed November 20 in newspapers across the province. For more information or to receive a print copy, please contact the Community Foundation of PEI at info@cfpei.ca.


Our vision:

  • to be the leading centre of excellence on issues related to island studies scholarship, public policy, and engagement.

Our mandate:

  • To encourage a deep knowledge, understanding, and expression of Prince Edward Island;
  • To serve as a bridge between the University and Island communities;
  • To contribute to the formulation of public policy in Prince Edward Island;
  • To undertake and facilitate island studies research and education at local, national, and global scales.



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