Pakistan, a deeply patriarchal society is rapidly changing and women are at the forefront.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Life-writing?
It involves, and goes beyond, biography. It encompasses everything from the complete life to the day-in-the-life, from the fictional to the factional. It embraces the lives of objects and institutions as well as the lives of individuals, families and groups.
Life-writing includes autobiography, memoirs, letters, diaries, journals (written and documentary), anthropological data, oral testimony, and eye-witness accounts. It is not only a literary or historical specialism, but is relevant across the arts and sciences, and can involve philosophers, psychologists, sociologists, ethnographers and anthropologists.
Recent areas of interest in life-writing studies include the relation of biography to scientific discovery. Life-writing is also an integral part of studies relating to the Holocaust, genocide, testimony and confession, and gender and apartheid.
- What does OCLW do?
The Oxford Centre for Life-Writing is a hub for scholars and practitioners who are interested in, working on, or researching, all forms of life-writing. We organise events (for example, lectures, seminars, conferences, exhibitions) that stimulate thinking about life-writing and disseminate research into auto/biographical subjects and methodology. Through a programme of Visiting Scholarships, Doctoral Studentships and Research Fellowships, OCLW fosters sustained and thorough academic research into a wide variety of interpretations of the theme of life-writing. We organise practical workshops designed to assist practising life-writers with methodological considerations relevant to auto/biography. The majority of our events and courses are open to all.
However, it might be necessary to describe how OCLW relates to the University of Oxford, for those of you unfamiliar with the way in which the University is structured. When you come to the University as a graduate student, your teaching/research will be managed by the Faculty to which you are affiliated. But your social life will mostly take place within the college that you join (please see this link for a longer explanation). OCLW is a research centre, neither a Faculty nor a College. We are based at Wolfson College and most closely affiliated to the Faculty of English (although we also have links with other Faculties too). But as a research centre, we do NOT offer ANY teaching, neither undergraduate nor postgraduate, at OCLW. We simply exist to support research at all levels.
If you are interesting in studying a formal life-writing course at the University of Oxford, you will have to become an English Literature student (at either Undergraduate or Graduate level) at the University, and select a life-writing module: however, this will be a Faculty-led module and nothing directly to do with OCLW. But attending events at OCLW, and interacting with our members, will help to further your research. Just to reiterate, we do not offer any teaching, beyond occasional short workshops designed to assist practising auto/biographers.
If you are interesting in doing a doctorate ("DPhil") at the University of Oxford in a subject related to life-writing, then you can do so in affiliation with OCLW. This means that your doctorate will be awarded by the University, and your supervision will be organised by the appropriate Faculty. When making your choice of college, if you opt to join Wolfson College, then you can be affiliated to OCLW and benefit from a closer connection to our members and activities than "regular" members. Please see the question below for more details on doing a DPhil at Oxford, and benefitting from an affiliation to OCLW.
- I am considering doctoral study. Can I do a DPhil attached to OCLW?
Yes, OCLW welcomes applications from doctoral candidates engaged in research relevant to life-writing. Each year there are two doctoral studentships on offer, fully funded by the AHRC and OCLW. One is in the field of English Literature; the second is taken from among the faculties of Music, Medieval and Modern Languages, and History. Applicants, whether internal or external, should apply to the University under the standard procedures for the PRS/DPhil degree. Applicants should list Wolfson their first choice college on the University application form. The University's application procedures are described at www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/postgraduate_courses/apply/ . Applications should normally be made on-line (www.graduate.ox.ac.uk/applyonline ).
It is also possible to apply for a DPhil attached to OCLW, without funding. Applicants should apply to the University under the respective standard procedures for the degree they wish to pursue from 2013, and should list Wolfson College as their first choice college on the form, as well as describing how their prospective research falls within the remit of OCLW's interests in their statement.
- How do I become a member of OCLW?
Membership is open to all. Please join our mailing list by following the instructions on this link.
- I am writing an auto/biography. What assistance might OCLW provide?
All our events provide an environment in which discussion of methodological and research issues pertaining to life-writing can assist an auto/biographer. OCLW organises practical life-writing workshops to assist those engaged in auto/biography. Informal events such as our termly Life-Writing Lunches particularly provide a context for relaxed, serious conversations among our members, where ideas can be fruitfully exchanged. Our blog and discussion board have recently been set up, and we hope that these will provide an opportunity for similar conversation in the virtual realm. But please note that we do NOT offer individual mentoring or tutoring, and nor can we read manuscripts or drafts.
- Is it possible to apply for a postdoctoral fellowship attached to OCLW?
OCLW currently has one stipendiary postdoctoral research fellowship (the Weinrebe Fellowship in Life-Writing): at the moment this position is filled. If further postdoctoral research fellowships are created, they will be advertised on these pages and on our mailing list. Please follow this instructions on this page to be added to the e-mailing list.
- Is it possible to come to OCLW as a Visiting Scholar?
Yes. Once a term, OCLW elects Visiting Scholars and Visiting Doctoral Students. Please see the Visiting Scholars webpage for details.
- Does OCLW have grants for which I can apply?
OCLW does not provide grants for research expenses, conferences, or funding for doctoral study at other universities.
We have a Doctoral Studentship scheme: please see www.wolfson.ox.ac.uk/clusters/life-writing/study/dphil for more details.
We can also provide limited financial assistance if you have an event that you are interested in hosting in affiliation to OCLW. Please see www.wolfson.ox.ac.uk/clusters/life-writing/events/OCLW-hosting for more information.
We are running a conference grant competition in association with TORCH, for postgraduate conferences on life-writing and the humanities. For more information, please see www.wolfson.ox.ac.uk/clusters/life-writing/study/grant
- I am organising, or am interested in organising, an event (conference, seminar, lecture etc) concerned with life-writing. How can OCLW help me?
OCLW can provide a variety of levels of support for an event related to life-writing, ranging from hosting a multi-day conference, to simply providing limited financial assistance (up to £200), or publicising an event. Our only condition is that the event is then described in all publicity as "taking place in association with OCLW", and that appropriate thanks are made. If you wish to apply for any type of support, please first download this form on the right and outline your proposal, and then email it to OCLW. Please do not contact OCLW before having submitted a form.
11 November 2019Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy delivers Annual Sarfraz Pakistan Lecture7 November 2019Professor Alan Bowman delivers the Ronald Syme Lecture
Alexandria was for many centuries, the largest and most important city in the eastern Mediterranean.4 November 2019The Wild East
At the start of October, Harriss-White together with Lucia Michelutti published the collection "The Wild East".
Lectures and Seminars12 - 12Nov NovWork-In-Progress Students' PresentationsTuesday 12 November - 5:00pm to 6:45pm
Work-In-Progress Students Presentations followed by Cluster Social with wine & nibbles from 18:15 and reserved dinner table in Hall at 18:45Lectures and Seminars12 - 12Nov NovAdam Smith as JuristTuesday 12 November - 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Adam Smith is world-famous as a founding father of economics, yet his work as a jurist is much less well known. He worked for decades on a book that would have spanned the ground between his moral philosophy and the empirical sociology and economics of Wealth of Nations, but never completed it, and on his deathbed he asked his executors to destroy his manuscripts.Sports & Wellness12 - 12Nov NovMixed Circuit TrainingTuesday 12 November - 6:00pm to 7:15pm
Mixed Circuits runs every Tuesday and Thursday, all year long, at 6pm in the Games Room, organised by the Boat Club. It is open to all members of college, featuring a high intensity workout focussing on a sequence of core and cardio exercises as well as stretching.