Explore the history of the Island Institute using the timeline below. If you’re on a mobile phone, you can explore the timeline items outside of the timeline format. Alternately, you can access a narrative version of our history by clicking here.

If you would like to add your own personal anecdote about your experience of a time in the Island Institute’s history, create a user or log in, and then click “My Workbench” on the black bar at the top of your screen. From there, click “add content” or “create content” and then “timeline date”, and build your entry. You can add an image if you’d like. We’ll review your submission before posting it.

Inaugural Symposium

Inaugural Symposium

In 1984, Sitkans Don Muller, Alice Lee, Marylin Carty, and Carolyn Servid, co-workers at Old Harbor Books, founded the Sitka Symposium,

Second Annual Sitka Symposium

Second Annual Sitka Symposium

Crossing The Boundaries: Landscape and Language The Second Annual Sitka Summer Writer’s Symposium featuring faculty members ...

Story, Place, and Community

Early on, three common threads emerged.

Third Annual Sitka Symposium

Third Annual Sitka Symposium

Culture and Landscape: Toward a New World View The Third Annual Sitka Summer Writer’s Symposium featuring faculty members Siv ...

Fourth Annual Sitka Symposium

Fourth Annual Sitka Symposium

Writing The Natural World: Science, Spirit, and Imagination The Fourth Annual Sitka Summer Writer’s Symposium featuring faculty ...

Carolyn on Nora Dauenhauer at the 1987 Symposium

Fifth Annual Sitka Symposium

Fifth Annual Sitka Symposium

The Art of Story The Fifth Annual Sitka Symposium featuring facutly Jim Dodge, Eliza Jones, Pete Sinclair, Gioia Timpanelli, and Barre ...

Sixth Annual Sitka Symposium

Sixth Annual Sitka Symposium

Allegiances: Locating Ourselves in Place and Culture The Sixth Annual Sitka Symposium featuring faculty John Hildebrand, William ...

Residency Program is Launched

Seeing a need in the state for a residency program, Alaska Humanities Forum Director Gary Holthaus encouraged the Island Institute to ...

Seventh Annual Sitka Symposium

Seventh Annual Sitka Symposium

Groundwork: Renewing the Covenants that Sustain Us The Seventh Annual Sitka Symposium featuring writers Rachel Craig, Robert Hass, Wes ...

Eighth Annual Sitka Symposium

Eighth Annual Sitka Symposium

Confluences: Personal Vision and The Responsible Voice The Eighth Annual Sitka Symposium featuring faculty Hugh Brody, Ursula Hegi, ...

Ninth Annual Sitka Symposium

Ninth Annual Sitka Symposium

Stories We Live By: Our Habit, Our Heritage, Our Hope The Ninth Annual Sitka Symposium featuring faculty Ted Chamberlin, Martha ...

A Literary Journal Is Born

A Literary Journal Is Born

As the Island Institute’s programs grew, we wanted to chronicle the ways in which the ideas highlighted in Symposium discussions and ...

10th Anniversary Sitka Symposium

10th Anniversary Sitka Symposium

10th Anniversary Retrospective The Tenth Anniversary Retrospective featured faculty Hugh Brody, Jim Dodge, John Haines, Eliza Jones, ...

11th Annual Sitka Symposium

11th Annual Sitka Symposium

The Spirit of Human Work  The 11th Annual Sitka Symposium on Human Values and the Written Word featured faculty Lorna Goodison, Teresa ...

12th Annual Sitka Symposium

12th Annual Sitka Symposium

Landscape and Community: Imagining Common Ground  The 12th Annual Sitka Symposium on Human Values and the Written word featured ...

13th Annual Sitka Symposium

Earth Household: Community and the Natural Common Wealth  The 13th Annual Sitka Symposium featured facult Linda Hasselstrom, Tom Lyon, ...

Into the Heart of the Wood

Into the Heart of the Wood

The Island Institute brought the play, Into the Heart of the Wood, written and performed by Todd Jefferson Moore to Sitka in 1997. The ...

14th Annual Sitka Symposium

14th Annual Sitka Symposium

Ways of Seeing, Ways of Knowing  The 14th Annual Sitka Symposium featured faculty Martha Demientieff, Ursula Franklin, David Lee, Ted ...

15h Annual Sitka Symposium

15h Annual Sitka Symposium

A Culture to Sustain Us: Creating a Center That Holds  The 15th Annual Sitka Symposium featured faculty Ted Chamberlin, John Daniel, ...

Indicators Reports

The uncertainties and controversies brought about by the 1993 closure of the Alaska Pulp Corporation mill prompted the Institute to ...

16th Annual Sitka Symposium

16th Annual Sitka Symposium

A Culture to Sustain Us: Creating a Center That Holds, II The 16th Annual Sitka Symposium featured faculty Vernita Herdman, James ...

17th Annual Sitka Symposium

17th Annual Sitka Symposium

Matters of Faith, Matters of Fact  The 17th Annual Sitka Symposium featured faculty Julie Cruikshank, Ursula Goodenough, Oscar ...

18th Annual Sitka Symposium

18th Annual Sitka Symposium

Gifts of Grace: Restoration, Reconciliation and Forgiveness  The 18th Annual Sitka Symposium featured faculty Wendell Berry, John ...

19th Annual Sitka Symposium

Creating a Geography of Hope  The 19th Annual Sitka Symposium featured faculty Dolly Garza, Christopher Merrill, Kathleen Moore, and ...

20th Annual Sitka Symposium

20th Annual Sitka Symposium

How to Love This World: 20th Anniversary and Celebration  The 20th Anniversary Sitka Symposium Celebration featured faculty ...

21st Annual Sitka Symposium

21st Annual Sitka Symposium

If This is Your Land, Where are Your Stories?  The 21st Annual Sitka Symposium featured faculty members Mary Clearman Blew, Ted ...

Student Stories and The Sitka Sentinel

“My name is Eric Matthes. I’m a teacher at Pacific High School, and I’m also a board member of the Island Institute. ...

22nd Annual Sitka Symposium

22nd Annual Sitka Symposium

Radical Compassion / Across the Great Divides  The 22nd Annual Sitka Symposium featured faculty members Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, Rabia ...

23rd Annual Sitka Symposium

23rd Annual Sitka Symposium

On the Edge: The Necessity of Beauty  The 23rd Annual Sitka Symposium featured faculty Tom Jay, Barbara Ras, Scott Russell Sanders, and

24th Annual Sitka Symposium

24th Annual Sitka Symposium

Gifts of Nature, Gifts of Culture: Who Owns the Commons?  The 24th Annual Sitka Symposium featured faculty members William deBuys, ...

25th Annual Sitka Symposium

25th Annual Sitka Symposium

FrameWork: Shaping an Enduring Human Culture  The 25th Annual Sitka Symposium featured faculty members Gary Holthaus, Robin Kimmerer, ...

Up For Discussion: What Makes a Sustainable Community?

A Project with Gary Holthaus, January/February 2010

lê thúy

lê thi diem thúy is a writer and solo performance artist. She left her native Vietnam by boat in 1978 with her family and was raised in

2012 Roundtable

2012 Roundtable

Resilient Communities: A Form of Creative Resistance The 2012 Roundtable Conversation featured leaders Gordon Blue, Phil Burdick, Terry

Literature Of Resilience Gathering

Literature of Resilience: A Gathering of Women Writers | July 17–19th, 2013

Marjorie Gellhorn Sa’adah

Marjorie Gellhorn Sa’adah writes and teaches nonfiction to pursue her keen interests and to contribute to the life of her community. ...

Sitka Food Assessment

Taking Steps to Ensuring Sitka’s Food Resilience

2014 Sitka Symposium

2014 Sitka Symposium

Radical Imagining: Changing the Story with Stories of Change In 2014, the Symposium was renewed after a five-year hiatus, bringing ...

Dipika Guha

Dipika Guha was born in Calcutta and raised in India, Russia, and the United Kingdom. She spent two months in Sitka through the ...

Jesse Blackadder & Carol Birrell

Jesse Blackadder & Carol Birrell

Dr Jesse Blackadder is a previous Island Institute Fellow (from 2007). She is an author of award-winning adult and children’s novels ...

Where Am I? Student Anthology

The Island Institute’s Sitka Story Lab program released this new book of Southeast Alaskan student writing in May 2016.  

Ferry tour recap: What We Talk About When We Talk About Climate

This article was written by Island Institute Director Peter Bradley for publication in the Capital City Weekly at the end of June. For ...

Nikki Zielinski

Nikki Zielinski

Nikki Zielinski joins us in Sitka as the 2016 Rasmuson Foundation Artist in Residence at the Island Institute. Nikki’s poetry ...

Courtney Sina Meredith

Courtney Sina Meredith

Courtney Sina Meredith (1986–) is a poet, playwright, fiction writer and musician. Her play Rushing Dolls (2010) won a number of awards

Kristian Cordero

Kristian Cordero

Kristian Sendon Cordero (poet, fiction writer, essayist, translator, filmmaker; Naga City, Philippines) writes in Filipino, Bikol and ...

Our Alaskan Stories 2017 Trailer

Transition Announcement

I have decided that the time has come to resign from my post as the director of the Island Institute. Interim Director Aurora Lang will

Peter Bradley

As Executive Director of the Island Institute from 2014-2018 (and Associate Director from 2013-2014), Peter Bradley spearheaded the ...