Frequently Asked Questions

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?
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.
Does OCLW run practical courses in life-writing?
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. 
Downloads
Events application formDownload
News
Events

The latest from Wolfson College

17 May 2019
Wolfson College flies rainbow LGBT flag on 17 May

Wolfson College flies the rainbow LGBT flag for the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. 

Armitage
13 May 2019
Simon Armitage named the new Poet Laureate

Professor Simon Armitage, Honorary Member of Wolfson College and judge on the John Stallworthy Prize for graduate poetry has been named the new...

13 May 2019
The Isaiah Berlin Lecture: Liberalism and the resurgence of fascism

This year's Isaiah Berlin Lecture will be held by Professor Paul Gilroy, Professor of American & English Literature at King's College London...

Our upcoming events

Lectures and Seminars
21 - 21
May May
Asian Treasure Traditions Seminar
Tuesday 21 May - 3:00pm to 7:00pm

Anna Sehnalova Tuesday 21st May Seminar Room 3, 5.pm - 7pm, followed by dinner at Wolfson Title: Mountain Deities and Their Treasures: Possible Indigenous Origins of the Tibetan gTer ma tradition

Tuesday 21st May, Reinier Langelaar (IKGA, Austrian Academy of Sciences & Humboldt University of Berlin)

Wolfson College Seminar Room 3, 15:00 - 17:00

Lectures and Seminars
21 - 21
May May
Japan’s Energy Policy After The Fukushima Disaster
Tuesday 21 May - 5:30pm to 6:30pm

Eight years on from the disastrous accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, how has the clean-up operation gone; what are Japanese attitudes to nuclear power; and what energy mix is right for a resource-poor economic superpower? Naomi Hirose has for many years been at the helm of The Tokyo Electric Power Company which runs Fukushima, and he is in Oxford, at Wolfson College, to set out his views, and to take all questions.

Lectures and Seminars
23 - 23
May May
Wolfson Lecture Series: Diplomacy for the 21st Century: Expanding the diplomati...
Thursday 23 May - 6:15pm to 7:15pm

Sir Peter Gluckman will deliver the lecture “Expanding the diplomatic toolkit: the further evolution of science diplomacy”.