ISISA 2020: Sharing Lessons, Sharing Stories

ISISA 2020: Sharing Lessons, Sharing Stories


March 11, 2020

On behalf of the Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development at Memorial University of Newfoundland, I regret to inform you that the 2020 International Small Islands Studies Association Conference, scheduled to take place June 22-26 in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada, has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although Newfoundland and Labrador remains at low risk, in order to do our part in slowing the spread of this illness, we have decided to not hold the conference this summer.

The conference will now take place in St. John’s, NL, June 14-18, 2021.

Thank you for your registration and support. We will provide full refunds to all the registrants. Over the coming weeks, we will also provide additional information about the steps we are taking to maintain the momentum between now and June of 2021 to ensure that our scholarly community remains as closely knit and connected as ever.

Stay well,

Bojan Fürst
Manager, Knowledge Mobilization
Harris Centre

We are pleased to welcome delegates from around the world to the International Small Islands Studies Association 2020 Conference: Sharing Lessons, Sharing Stories, at Memorial University's Signal Hill Campus in beautiful St. John's, NL, Canada. Please save the date to attend. We can't wait to share our island with you!

The island of Newfoundland is renowned for its literature and drama; its music and dance; its vibrant visual arts scene; and its Intangible Cultural Heritage, like storytelling and boat-building, its culinary traditions and festivals. It has a rich history of settlement and resettlement: through moving the inhabitants of its small islands and outports to the “mainland,” or through outmigration, mostly “out west.” It is rich in natural history, being one of the oldest geological formations on the planet. Being an island, it is at the heart of climate change, and climate-change resilience. It deals with connectivity issues, and, often as a result, food security issues.

Now, island studies scholars and practitioners from NL and around the globe have an opportunity to hear these stories and lessons and share theirs – on an island that is also renowned for its hospitality. In addition, you will be treated to keynote speakers and community tours, and some of the best food Atlantic Canada has to offer.

Conference Program

Travel and Accommodations

Field Trips

Tourism Information

The Call for Abstracts ended on 17 January 2020.


Registration will open on 17 January 2020. Click here to register.

Registration costs:

Early Bird Regular: $400 (+HST)
Early Bird Student: $300 (+HST)
Early Bird Lifetime ISISA Member: $373.89 (+HST)
[After April 30th] Regular: $550 (+HST)
[After April 30th] Student: $400 (+HST)
[After April 30th] Member: $523.89 (+HST)
(All costs in Canadian Dollars) 

If you would like to bring a partner, friend, or family member with you to St. John's, they can attend the Opening Reception, Closing Banquet, and Field Trip for $120.00CAD. This will appear as an option on the Registration form.

Conference Timeline

A detailed program is forthcoming; however, to aid in travel plans, we would like to inform attendees of the following:

  • Conference to open on Monday, June 22nd, with the keynote presentation at 6pm (registration to take place just before; more details to come).
  • Conference will end Friday, June 26th, at 1:30pm.
  • The banquet will take place Wednesday, June 24th; there will also be an Art Salon on the evening of Thursday, June 25th.
  • One day of the conference will consist of a field trip (more details to come).

International Travel

Attendees are responsible for their own visa arrangements.
EU travellers will need to receive Electronic Travel Authorization. More information here.


 The International Small Islands Studies Association (ISISA) is pleased to announce a scholarship competition to assist students (mainly postgraduate) to meet part of the expenses of attending this conference.

A maximum of TEN (10) awards, equivalent to $500[USD] each, will be made to suitable student candidates, who will be presented with their awards at the Conference.

Applications, by email only, should be sent to the ISISA Executive Committee member, Dr. Laurie Brinklow, at, by 20 January 2020, and must include the following:

  • name and current institutional affiliation of the student applicant;
  • postal address;
  • email address;
  • name of degree for which the student applicant is registered and year of registration;
  • title of paper to be presented at the Conference;
  • abstract of paper as submitted to the Conference; and
  • statement of up to 150 words on why it is important for the student applicant to attend this conference.

The applications will be considered by a panel consisting of both ISISA office holders and representatives of the Conference organisers, whose decision will be final. Selection will be based on merit of abstract, as well as by an interest in ensuring a regional and disciplinary diversity of participants.

To qualify for consideration, students MUST have their abstracts accepted by Conference; any application from a student whose abstract is not officially accepted will not be considered for an award.

Note: Scholarship beneficiaries are still required to pay the conference registration fee. The conference fee is discounted for bona fide students to encourage their participation.

Trip to Woody Island Resort

We are pleased to offer a little something extra for those delegates who wish to spend a few days (June 21 and 22nd) enjoying Newfoundland prior to the launch of the conference.

The Woody Island Resort is a vacation destination like no other. Situated on a rugged island in Placentia Bay that was resettled in the early 1970s, it is the place to enjoy Newfoundland traditions--like the iconic kitchen party, sing-a-longs with local musicians, and traditional home-cooked meals. The resort holds Trip Advisor’s "Certificate of Excellence" for accommodations that consistently earn top reviews from travelers.

Just two hours outside of St. John’s, the two-day, one-night agenda includes boat transportation, accommodations, meals, complimentary glass of wine with dinner, live entertainment, a beach boil-up and a trip on the bay, all for $175 CAD per person (+HST)+ the cost of bus travel to Garden Cove (to be confirmed based on number of participants).

See a sample agenda (with activities, etc.) here, and for more general information, visit their website. Please note that participants will be back in St. John's by approximately 4:30 pm on Monday June 22; opening event will commence at 6:30 pm that evening.

Reservations can be made by calling 1-800-504-1066 (in North America) or emailing (international).

If you wish to experience Woody Island, please ensure your travel plans get you to St. John’s by June 18, as the bus will leave early in the morning of June 19. You will be back in St. John’s on June 20 just in time for an evening meal or a night out on George Street!

If you have any questions, contact one of our conference organizers: Janet @ jharron[at] or Mandy @ mandy.rowsell[at]

This website is under development. Check back frequently for updates.

We are very pleased that our colleagues from the Canadian Association for Irish Studies are joining us for the last day of the conference as they gear up for their own conference on North Atlantic Worlds from June 25-28. This is a great opportunity to particpate in both conferences in a unique location that is the island of Newfoundland. 

For more information, contact Mandy at mandy.rowsell[at] or call (709)-864-2275.


We are Here

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000