Thursday, February 24, 2011

What is Linda L. Layne reading?

Today's featured contributor at Writers Read: Linda L. Layne, co-editor of Feminist Technology.

Her entry begins:
Over the holidays I read two books on consumer culture. The first, Edmund de Waal’s The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Family’s Century of Art and Loss, was a Christmas gift from my partner. It was unlike anything I had ever read. After inheriting a collection of tiny Japanese sculptures of animals and figures carved out of ivory or wood from a great uncle, de Waal spent several years meticulously tracing the social history of the collection, how the objects got “handled and handed on” through four generations of his “ridiculously wealthy,” cosmopolitan, Jewish ancestors who were based in Odessa, Paris, Vienna, and Japan. It is inconceivable that anyone else could have written such a book. Waal is an art ceramist and so has a particular relationship to material culture. In addition, he studied English at Cambridge. The result is a book one can luxuriate over. His netsuke collection was purchased by Charles Ephrussi, an up-and-coming art collector, critic, and historian in Paris in the 1870s, during the rage for japonisme when wealthy Europeans were buying art treasures for a pittance from impoverished daimoyos and samurai. Once in Europe, these fine objects were...[read on]
Among the praise for Feminist Technology:
"This coherent and integrated collection lays out the issues and questions of feminist technology, crossing a true range of disciplinary boundaries including science and technology studies, architecture, biology, and the social sciences."
--Barbara Katz Rothman, author of Recreating Motherhood: Ideology and Technology in a Patriarchal Society
Learn more about Feminist Technology by following the blog at the University of Illinois website.

Linda L. Layne is Hale Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences and Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer. She is the author Motherhood Lost: A Feminist Account of Pregnancy Loss in America, and Home and Homeland: The Dialogics of Tribal and National Identities in Jordan and has edited two volumes on motherhood and consumption: Consuming Motherhood and Transformative Motherhood: On Giving and Getting in a Consumer Culture.

Visit Linda L. Layne's faculty webpage.

The Page 99 Test: Feminist Technology.

Writers Read: Linda L. Layne.

--Marshal Zeringue