Talking to the experts:  Introducing Professor Linda Layne
When we began Our Hope Place we wanted to make a difference in the
lives of women.   Our aim was to offer a ritual of sharing and caring that
let women know they weren't alone in their suffering, help them move
forward, and ultimately to heal and to hope.  We didn't know who we
would meet along the way, but we knew it would be an interesting journey.
Everyday (ok most days) lives up to that.

Recently, we had the privilege of meeting Professor Linda Layne.  Our
meeting was a wonderful opportunity to discuss like-minded thinking, and
find ways to work together to help women in their grief.  We discovered
Linda through an article describing her work in the Rensselaer Alumni
Magazine.  (
Link to "Motherhood Lost" article)

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is our alma matter, and Linda L. Layne is the Hale Professor
of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Professor of Anthropology in the Department of
Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer (Troy, NY).  

She received her Ph.D. in 1986 in Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies from Princeton
University. That work resulted in
Home and Homeland: The Dialogics of Tribal and National
(Princeton University Press 1994) and a collection on Elections in the Middle East
(Westview 1987).  

Layne's research interests changed abruptly in January 1989 when her first pregnancy
ended in miscarriage at 13 weeks gestation. Since that time she has used the lens of
anthropology to explain why American women are so ill-prepared for miscarriage, stillbirth, or
early infant death and why the feminist movement has not fully embraced this important
women's health issue. She is now working to develop a women's health approach to
child-bearing loss.  

Layne is author of
Motherhood Lost: A Feminist Perspective on Pregnancy Loss (Routledge
2003); and the Childbearing Loss chapter of the new edition of
Our Bodies, Ourselves
(2005), and editor of
Consuming Motherhood. (with Taylor and Wozniak) Rutgers University
Press 2004, and
Transformative Motherhood: On Giving and Getting in a Consumer Culture
New York University Press 1999.  

Work in progress includes a 10-part, award-winning television series, "Motherhood Lost:
Conversations" co-produced with Heather Bailey at George Mason Television.  

She is the proud mother of two fine sons. She can be contacted at or visit

Rensselaer's motto is "Why not change the world?"  Working together and in parallel, the
three of us aim to do just that.  We hope you find Linda and her work as interesting as we do.