The late Professor Christopher Hale, who passed away in July 2019, was born in 1942 in Michigan. He was educated at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he received a BA in 1964. He then went on to pursue graduate studies at the University of Chicago, where he received his MA in 1967 and his PhD in 1972 in Germanic Languages (specializing primarily in Norwegian and Icelandic philology). He came to the University of Alberta in 1970 as Assistant Professor in Scandinavian Studies in the Department of Germanic Languages, where he taught a variety of courses in Scandinavian language, literature, and culture. Chris retired from the University of Alberta in 2012, and had a post-retirement appointment until 2014.
Chris’s academic research centered on Norwegian language and Scandinavian philology, literature, and culture. His publications ranged from Norwegian and Icelandic naming traditions to Scandinavian immigration to Canada to the works of Aksel Sandelmose. He was a founding member and first president of the Association for the Advancement of Scandinavian Studies in Canada (est. 1982), and was a long-standing member of the Canadian Institute for Nordic Studies.
Chris’s tireless efforts to promote Scandinavian language and culture in Canada were recognized formally in 2008, when the King of Norway named Chris an Officer of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit for his contributions to the advancement of knowledge about Norwegian language and culture in Canada.
Above all, Chris loved teaching, and was beloved by his students. The announcement of his passing was met with an outpouring of messages the many undergraduate and graduate students Chris taught during the course of his long career, which emphasize the deep impact Chris made on their experience at the University of Alberta.
In memory of Chris, and in recognition of his many contributions to the society, a conference paper that corresponds with Chris’ research interests will be selected annually by the Program Committee and introduced during the conference as the Honorary Chris Hale Paper, beginning in 2020.