Miriam Laytner (2012)


Miriam Laytner graduated from Barnard College in 2009 with a BA in history. Her senior thesis, "Spiders, Whips and Priests," discussed the use of Anansi tales from West Africa as a means of cultural resistance in post-colonial Suriname and Jamaica. Her Oral History Masters thesis revolved around life history interviews conducted with Caribbean storytellers living in Brooklyn in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and sought to explore the connection between the interviewees' personal stories, traditional lore from the Caribbean and their understandings of severe weather events in the Caribbean and New York. Miriam is now in the second year of her Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma, where she is focused on perceptions of water and water rights during periods of severe weather and weather-related crises. Her interests include ecological folklore, new media technology, the history of New York City and the Caribbean, storytelling, and legal anthropology.