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 Identities (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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website
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.