International Small Islands Studies Association

Welcome to ISISA

ISISA is a voluntary, non-profit and independent organisation. Our objectives are to study islands on their own terms, and to encourage free scholarly discussion on small island related matters such as islandness, smallness, insularity, dependency, resource management and environment, and the nature of island life.


First ISISA Global Island Studies Webinar (GISW-1)

1st ISISA Global Island Studies Webinar (GISW) ran on Wednesday June 24, 2020. We managed to organise a festival of contributions from around and about our 'world of islands' over 31 hours, using Cisco Webex platform technology.

ISISA thanks the Harris Centre at Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN), Canada, for providing the IT infrastructure and support to make this webinar possible ... and for offering a taste of the same professionalism, organisational flair and quality we can expect when MUN hosts our ISISA Conference in June 2021.

The Complete Programme of the Event (With Multiple Time Zones as reference) is available here.

The Complete Book of Abstracts for all 62 presentations is available here (as pdf).

We had 220 unique viewers over the course of GISW-1 many of whom returned multiple times during the course of the event.

The word cloud below, courtesy of Evangelia Papoutsaki, is the result of the processing of the text in the book of abstracts for the June 24 Webinar (with due apologies to the islanders of Tasmania)

ISISA Conferences

Islands of the World XVII: Sharing Lessons, Sharing Stories

Venue: Signal Hill Campus of Memorial University, St John's, Newfoundland, Canada

June 14-18, 2021: CALL FOR PAPERS IS NOW OPEN: details here


Islands of the World XVI

For an Island Sense of Place

Leeuwarden and Terschelling, Frisian Islands, The Netherlands

June 10-14, 2018

Full Conference Programme and Abstracts

Islands of the World XV
Small Island Communities: Models for Global Survival
Kangaroo Island, South Australia, Australia
2 – 7 July 2017

Islands of the World XIV (in collaboration with RETI: Excellence Network of Island Universities)
Niss(i)ology and Utopia:
Back to the Roots of Island Studies

University of the Aegean
Mytilini, Lesvos Island, Greece
23 – 27 May 2016

Opening Evening Programme - Conference Poster - Full Conference Programme


ISISA Publications

Island Studies Journal   Latest ISISA Newsletter




Islands and the CoronaVirus pandemic: Updates by Iain Orr. 17 October update here; 27 October update here

Statistical Table from the above document is available as a stand-alone Excel Spreadsheet (Thanks to Bruce G. Potter)

- updated as as at 27 September 2020 here; and as at 7 October 2020 here

(Comments are welcomed by the author at:

How different islands are coping with the Covid-19 pandemic -

a document collated by Francesco Sindico - updated on the web as at 20 April 2020 here

Island Events

ISISA - 17th 'Islands of the World' Conference - St John's, Newfoundland, Canada - 14-18 June 2021. NOTE: This is now being planned as a VIRTUAL, On-line event.

ISISA - 18th 'Islands of the World' Conference - Zadar and area, Croatia - 13-19 June 2022.

Accepting bids to host the 19th 'Islands of the World' Conference in 2024 - A Location in the Indian or Pacific Ocean is preferred.

Accepting bids to host the 20th 'Islands of the World' Conference in 2026.

Island News

(11 January 2020) - Kangaroo Island, Australia, devastated by bushfires: Island solidarity expressed

The recent bushfires in Australia have devastated Kangaroo Island and laid waste to the formerly lush greenery. The small island is home to about 4,700 islanders and is considered a ‘Noah’s Ark’ for animals like the estimated 25,000 koalas that perished in the fires. Since the outbreak of the disaster about one-third of the island has been destroyed, houses and farms, forest and livestock and wildlife gone, and two lives lost...

With an area of 4,405km2, Kangaroo Island is small, with an economy based on agriculture and tourism. In July 2017, the island’s community hosted ISISA 15th Islands of the World Conference and gave the international island studies community a warm welcome.

With this critical time in mind, the Executive of the International Small Islands Studies Association (ISISA) expresses its solidarity with all fellow Kangaroo islanders. Our hearts go out to all the suffering inhabitants - human and fauna - of Kangaroo Island. Meanwhile, we are confident that the strong sense of community and deep reservoirs of resilience will rise to the occasion and help you cope as best you can, while looking forward to better days.

Please know your island family from around the globe supports you in your loss, but also in your resilience.

ISISA has donated $1,000 to the Children Bushfire Fund on KI, in support of children and their families displaced by the fires.

Letter of Thanks for Donors from Kangaroo Island, dated 18 May 2020, available here.

The Executive of ISISA

 ISISA e-mail group