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REF NO.: 91

SUBJECT: Public invited to Harris Centre’s island cultures conference

DATE: May 15

An international conference taking place at Memorial University in June will explore the stories and narratives of small island cultures.

Hosted by the Harris Centre, the 13th International Small Island Cultures conference will run from June 15-19 on the St. John’s campus. The conference’s theme is Stories, Ballads, and Island Narratives.

“We’re going to see presentations across many disciplines,” said Amy Jones, co-ordinator of knowledge mobilization for the Harris Centre and conference organizer.

“Presentations will span everything from island identity, migration, narratives, music, legends, mythology, literature, gender, fisheries, tourism, creative industries, geographies, health, and wellness.”

Ms. Jones says researchers and practitioners from all over the world will converge in the capital city for the event, coming from the United States, Cayman Islands, United Kingdom, France, Japan, Hong Kong and Australia.

The conference features an opening keynote address by Anita Best, Newfoundland and Labrador author, storyteller, educator, broadcaster and singer.

In addition to conference presentations June 17-19, the conference begins with A Celebration of Island Cultures: Stories, Ballads and Recitations, a story circle presented by the St. John’s Storytelling Festival on June 15. Delegates can pre-register for excursions, including a City of St. John’s bus tour and a Bird Island boat tour. There is an opening reception for all delegates at The Rooms the evening of June 16, as well. The complete program is available online.

The conference is part of the Small Island Cultures Research Initiative, a network to facilitate communication and collaboration between researchers and cultural practitioners working with small island communities.

Any interested members of the university community or public can register online by June 1 to attend. The regular registration fee is $250 CAD; the student registration fee is $125 CAD. This fee includes the evening reception, continental breakfasts, buffet style lunches, and coffee, tea, and light snacks for three days.

For more information and to register, contact Amy Jones or visit the Harris Centre website.

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For more information, please contact Zaren Healey White, communications advisor, Harris Centre, Memorial University, at 709-864-7918 or


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