Profile: Amy Kaler - Professor, Department of Sociology

Amy Kaler - Professor, Department of Sociology

I'm a professor and associate chair in the department of sociology at the University of Alberta. I've lived in Edmonton for 20 years, and before that, in Philadelphia, Harare, Minneapolis, Madziwa (Zimbabwe), Montreal, Toronto, Houston, Atlanta and Worcester Massachusetts. I've travelled a lot, mainly in southern and eastern Africa. I've studied the social and institutional contexts of infectious disease and reproductive health in Africa and North America, I've done a lot of historical and archival research, and am recently exploring the sociology of religion. I run, bike, read and write ink my spare time. 


Amy Kaler's COVID-19 Diary

25 Jul 2020 : Bus stop

Two days ago I was waiting for the bus. Public transport is free during the pandemic, and even as the outside world lurches back towards normality, the buses, with "please board at the back" signs and yellow tape marking off alternating rows of seats, are an ambulatory reminder that we are not yet back in normal times. These visual cues play on my pandemi...  Read this >>

Amy Kaler, Professor, Department of Sociology

18 Jul 2020 : Everything went away

In the June 29th issue of the New Yorker, there’s a hybrid book review/personal essay by David Denby about re-reading Crime and Punishment. I read that in high school a million years ago and had forgotten that it ends with Raskolnikov in prison in Siberia, dreaming of a plague. Denby quotes: Entire settlements, entire cities and nations would be in...  Read this >>

Amy Kaler, Professor, Department of Sociology

01 Jul 2020 : Curiosity cabinet

Bruce Chatwin's grandmother had a cabinet of curiosities, according to Chatwin biographer Nicholas Shakespeare, which fascinated the young Chatwin. The cabinet was a late-Victorian assemblage of minor exotica, bits of human artifact and the natural world, preserved under glass because they came from places that were far away, set apart from mundane life i...  Read this >>

Amy Kaler, Professor, Department of Sociology

30 Jun 2020 : Covid time and the fractured future

As the pandemic proceeds through numbered opening-up stages, the future is fracturing into a spectrum of divergent times-after, like the Pink Floyd album cover with one ray of blackness going into a prism and seven colors going out. First there was "we're all in this together", with a collective holding of breath and a radical leveling of public experienc...  Read this >>

Amy Kaler, Professor, Department of Sociology

15 Apr 2020 : Lockdown Day

On March 15 I had just come back from a four-day meeting in Ottawa. I spent most of those four days in a meeting room with academics from across Canada and a few from Europe. Over the course of the meeting, seeping into the conference rooms, the news of the virus got worse and worse, and furtive checking of phones during sessions increased. At coffee brea...  Read this >>

Amy Kaler, Professor, Department of Sociology

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