OCLW Podcast Archive

The Oxford Centre for Life-Writing records many of its events, which you can listen to as podcasts via the website or blog

Please click on the links below to enjoy these recordings! If an event does not appear in the list below, then the decision was made to not record or podcast this event, either because of sound quality or because of permissions. Please do not contact the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing to enquire after 'missing' podcasts.

Academic year 2017-18

Life-Writing Lunch Series 2017-18
Everyday matters: Writing Obscure Lives, 5-6 May 2018

Day 1

Keynote: Alison Light, 'Writing the Lives of "Common People": Reflections on the Idea of Obscurity', introduced by Elleke Boehmer

Panel 1: Representing the Marginalised (chair: Katherine Collins)

Hari Reed - 'The Ethical Dilemmas of Researching and Representing "Refugee Lives"'
Kerri McGiveron - '"A Week in April": The Lived Experience of Big Flame Activists in the Kirkby Rent Strike 1972-73'
Marta Laura Cenedese - 'Photographing Refugees: Life-writing, Activism, and the Everyday'

Panel 2: Children's Lives Panel (chair: Jonathan Taylor)

Sevasti-Melissa Nolas - 'Childhood, temporality and biography: making biographical research with younger children possible' 
Catherine Sloan - '"i av nevvir bene too scoole": Writing, Selfhood, and the Ordinary Schoolchild in the Nineteenth Century'
Kirsty Edwards-Capes - 'Interrogating "poor outcomes" and disrupted care in children's fiction' 

Panel 3: Village Tales screening and discussion

Sue Sudbury - 'Village Tales, Participatory filmmaking in rural India'

Day 2

Keynote: Alexander Masters, introduced by David Lynn

Panel 1: Everyday Aesthetics and Creative Representations Panel (chair: Alexandra Effe)

Marie Lindskov Hansen - 'Everyday versus/equals Art'
Alison Twells - 'Getting closer to Norah: storying the ordinary pocket diary'

Panel 2: sources of Everyday Lives Panel (chair: Hana Navratilova)

Rachel Matthews - 'When written lives collide: Comparing narrations of the Coventry Blitz in the Midland Daily Telegraph and Mass Observation archive'

Jeremy Burchardt - 'Comparing obscure lives: the possibilities of long-run, unpublished diaries'
Tanja Kovačič, Patricia Prieto-Blanco, Anne Byrne - 'Memory Books: Viktorija's Story' 

Panel 3: Lives of Crime Panel (chair: Kitty Hauser)

Mairi Hamilton - 'The Life and Death of Margaret Paterson: A Case Study of Sexual Violence, Embodiment and Subjectivity in Scotland, 1830'

Craig Newbery-Jones and Judith Rowbotham - '"Writing the Life of Crime": The Micro and Macro Analysis of the Narratives of Everyday offending and Conceiving the "Experience" of Crime'

Transnational Lives and Cosmopolitan Biographies - 17 March 2018

Introduction and welcome by Sandra Mayer and Philip Bullock 

Panel 1: Dictionaries of International Biography (chair: Sandra Mayer)

Clément Dessy (Warwick) - ‘Cross-Border Narratives and Life Writing: Émile Verhaeren by Stefan Zweig’

Ana Parejo Vadillo (Birkbeck) - ‘The Turn to the Right: Maurice Barrès and “Les Trois Mary” de Mary Robinson’

Panel 2: lives in Interwar Paris (chair: Richard Hibbitt) 

Emily Eells (Paris-Nanterre): ‘An American in Paris: Writing the Life of Natalie Clifford Barney’s Salon’

Laura Scuriatti (Bard College, Berlin): ‘Mina Loy’s Insel: A Collaborative Biography’

Jonathan Conlin (Southampton): ‘The Pasdeurma Problem: The Supranational Life of Calouste Gulbenkian (1869-1955)’

Panel 3: Lives Across time and Space (chair: Philip Bullock)

Sylvia Mieszkowski (Vienna): ‘The Cosmopolitan Wife: Isabel Burton's Ghostwriting of The Life as Creative Self-Othering’

Katherine Collins (Oxford): ‘Old Colonials and Europhiles: Identity and Contemporary Transnational Narratives’

Roundtable (chair: Sandra Mayer) 

Elleke Boehmer (Oxford), Stefano Evangelista (Oxford), Laura Marcus (Oxford),

Claudia Olk (Berlin), Juergen Schlaeger (Berlin)

Weinrebe Lecture Series 2017-18
Life-Writing and Female Celebrity Conference – 4 November 2017

Keynote: Patricia Duncker, ‘The Women who 'Meant to Do It': George Eliot and Celebrity Performance’

Panel 1: Women's Lives and Celebrity in the 18th Century (chair: Anna Senkiw)

  • Stella Tillyard - Celebrities and Heroines: Commercial Biography and Eighteenth-Century Women (podcast unavailable)
  • Ruth Scobie - Pre-Truth Media and the Female Imposter: The Case of 'Elizabeth Harriet Grieve'

Panel 2: Female Celebrity Performance across Media and Genres (chair: Sandra Mayer) 

  • Mary Luckhurst - Staging Lives: Celebrity Actresses Playing Real-Life Celebrities
  • Oline Eaton - God Bless Jackie-The Only Thing that Can Make Us Forget the Bomb
  • Hannah Yelin - Celebrity Performativity and Cultural Value: Reading Grace Jones' I'll Never Write my Memoirs
Invited Speakers

Academic year 2016-17

Dancing Lives Conference 2016 - 8 July 2017

Panel 1 - Historical Dancing:

  • Michael Burden: 'Mademoiselle Mercandotti, Hughes Balls Hughes, and the (Scandalous) Uses of a Green Room'
  • Mike Webb and Jennifer Thorp: 'Dancing All Night with Aphra Behn - Jeffrey Boys's Almanack for 1667'
  • Julia Bührle: 'Marie Taglioni: The First Female Superstar of Ballet'

Plenary 1 - Jennifer Homans in conversation with Sue Jones on George Balanchine

Panel 2 - Inter/national Dancing Lives:

  • Jane Pritchard: 'Julia Seale, Missing Dancer'
  • Judith Mackrell: 'Lydia Lopokova: A Twentieth-Century Life'
  • Michael Huxley: 'Presence and Absence: Kurt Jooss'

Panel 3 - Dance and Biography:

  • Funmi Adewole: 'Francis Nii Yartey: A Pioneer Practitioner-Researcher in African Dance'
  • Ramsay Burt: 'Berto Pasuka: A Dancing Life of Colonialism and Diasporic Culture'

Plenary 2 - Dame Monica Mason: 'Travelling and Dancing'

The Lives of Houses, Colloquium – 27 May 2017

Daisy Hay: 'Crenellations at Hughenden and a Nightmare in London: Writing Space in Mr and Mrs Disraeli and Dinner with Joseph Johnson' (podcast unavailable)

Roundtable Discussion: Presenting Lives of Houses, including Nino Strachey, Serena Dyer and Alexandra Harris

Panel 1: Writers’ Houses 

  • Alexandra Harris: 'Moving Home: Cowper, Clare and Woolf'
  • Frankie Kubicki: 'Re-presenting Dickens: Interpreting Dickens in the 21st Century'
  • Nicola Watson: 'Making Shakespeare’s New Place New'

Panel 2: Musicians’ and Architects’ Houses

  • Gillian Darley: 'A House for John Soane, a House for Julie'
  • Lucy Walker: '"The Man Himself": Finding Britten at The Red House'
  • James Grasby: 'Edward Elgar: Curating a Life'
Self/knowledge: Autobiography and Research – 25 February 2017
Celebiography: Celebrity and Life-Writing in Dialogue – 19 November 2016
ODNB Discussion panel: Constructing Lives – 29 November 2016

ODNB Discussion panel: Constructing Lives - 29 November 2016

  • Alexander Masters (Author of A Life Discarded and Stuart: A Life Backwards)
  • Philip Carter (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography)
  • Victoria Van Hyning (Oxford University)
Invited Speakers

Academic year 2015-16

Weinrebe Lecture Series 2015-16
Silence in the Archives Conference – 7 November 2015
Invited Speakers

Academic year 2014-15

Disputed Lives workshop – 16 May 2015
Symposium: ‘The Many Lives of Benjamin Disraeli’ – 24 March 2015
Weinrebe Lecture Series 2014-15
Invited Speakers

Academic year 2013-14

Coetzee’s Lives Seminar – 13 June 2014
The Lives of Objects Conference – 20-22 September 2013

Hermione Lee, Opening Address, 20 September 2013


Special Sessions:


Weinrebe Lecture Series 2013-14
Invited Speakers

Academic year 2012-13

Weinrebe Lecture Series 2012-13
Invited Speakers

Academic year 2011-12

Weinrebe Lecture Series 2011-12
Invited Speakers

The latest from Wolfson College

19 September 2018
Wolfson Fellows win full professorships

Jon Barrett and Wolfgang de Melo of Wolfson College have been awarded a Recognition of Distinction award.

9 August 2018
The Jessup Room inaccessible to readers from 13th August - 17th August.

The Jessup Room in the Library (main reading room on the first floor) will be inaccessible to readers from Monday 13th August until Friday...

Image of Wolf Hub logo
6 August 2018
New Online Booking System

Wolfson College is offering a new online booking system exclusively for our members, as requested at the General Meeting. The new...

Our upcoming events

Lectures and Seminars
25 - 25
Sep Sep
The Magnificent Seven (plus): A study of early Islamic rock crystal wine jugs
Tuesday 25 September - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Concert and Plays
29 - 29
Sep Sep
Saturday 29 September - 7:30pm to 10:00pm

Barefoot Opera, well known for its strong production values, ensemble work, and fresh interpretation, brings its unique style to the opera everyone knows and loves: 'Carmen' by Bizet. Our brilliant young soloists include young talents from the Guildhall School of Music and the Welsh Opera Academy. At the start of their careers, they will be accompanied by Barefoot Opera’s signature ensemble of free-base accordion double-bass, clarinet, and keyboard.

Art exhibition
30 - 30
Sep Sep
Steve Empson: Exhibition Private View
Sunday 30 September - 12:00pm

PRIVATE VIEW - Sunday 30 September from 12 noon to 3 pm.
Steve Empson observes two coastal communities, in Kent and Co Durham, he considers to be similar in many aspects. Both places are out on a limb, and he sees them as being quirky and attractively at the edge of society. In paintings and drawings of mixed media, he attempts to get across his feeling for these places.