An Introduction to Island Studies

By James E. Randall

A co-publication with Rowman & Littlefield

Island Studies can be deceptively challenging and rewarding for an undergraduate student. Islands can be many things: nations, tourist destinations, quarantine stations, billionaire baubles, metaphors. The study of islands offers a way to take this ‘bewildering variety’ and to use it as a lens and a tool to better understand our own world of islands.

An Introduction to Island Studies is an approachable look at this interdisciplinary field – from the islands as biodiversity hotspots, their settlement, human migration and occupation through to the place of islands in the popular imagination. Featuring geopolitical, social and economic frameworks, James Randall gives a bottom-up guide to this most modern area of study. From the geological analysis of island formation to the metaphorical use of islands in culture and literature, the growing field of island studies is truly interdisciplinary. This new introduction gives readers from many disciplines the local, global, and regional perspectives that unlock the promise of island studies as a way to see the world. From the struggles and concerns of the Anthropocene—climate change, vulnerability and resilience, sustainable development, through to policy making and local environments—island studies has the potential to change the debate.

• October 2020
• 302 pages, 7 x 10, paperback, $39.95 CDN
• ISBN 978-1-78661-546-6
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James (Jim) Randall

JAMES (JIM) RANDALL teaches at the University of Prince Edward Island, Canada, where he is also the coordinator of the Island Studies program, leads the Institute of Island Studies and is the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability. A geographer by training, Jim developed a love of Island Studies later in his career. His research spans many aspects of this interdisciplinary field, with a special interest in development, quality-of-life, and islander-newcomer relationships on small islands.

“In An Introduction to Island Studies, James Randall offers us a meticulously researched, exquisitely collated, trans-disciplinary text that serves as a comprehensive and critical review of the study of islands. Here is an authoritative yet jargon-free primer to introduce the study of islanded people, species, and places.”
—GODFREY BALDACCHINO, University of Malta

“James Randall has seamlessly integrated his wealth of knowledge and years of research into this comprehensive book. Written in plain terms that make it accessible for a wide range of readers, it will be an excellent guide for all who want to learn or teach about island issues in the world.”
—YOKO FUJITA, University of the Ryukyus

“At last a comprehensive introduction to island studies! James Randall has provided students with a perceptive, highly readable introduction to the study of islands, whether their focus is on the nature of ‘Islandness,’ or the future of sustainable island communities, whether on the geography of the sunny islands of the Pacific, or the misty islands of the North Atlantic. Whatever their island interests, here they will find profound insight based on exhaustive research.”
—ANDREW JENNINGS, University of the Highlands and Islands, Scotland