The Oxford Centre for Life-Writing (OCLW) at Wolfson College was founded in 2011 by the then President of Wolfson College, the biographer Dame Hermione Lee. In that time we have gained a local, national and international reputation as a unique hub of activities relating to many kinds of life-writing and as a significant, interdisciplinary cultural presence. Oxford is an international hub for biographical activities. Oxford University Press publishes the Dictionary of National Biography, the most famous biographical publication in the world; as well as The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and The Grove Dictionary of Art, containing thousands of biographical entries on musicians and artists. The Ashmolean Museum is committed to biographical interpretations of its works of art. There are biographers at Oxford University working within many different fields and there are some distinguished non-academic biographers living and working in Oxford.
We promote a lively, cross-disciplinary dialogue on all aspects of life-writing through a busy weekly programme of events, including lunch talks, lectures, performances, panel discussions, conferences and seminars and full day workshops. Most of these are free of charge and open to all across the academic community and the general public, and attract a wide audience, from established academics to schoolchildren, who enjoy access to top level scholarly debate within an Oxford College. We are committed to outreach, collaboration, and fostering research into life-writing through postdoctoral Research Fellowships, Postgraduate Scholarships, Visiting Scholarships and Visiting Doctoral Studentships. We support young academics at the start of their careers, and provide a central point for established practitioners for discussion and international collaboration, as well as allowing the general public open access to all our events, and offering opportunities for mentoring and outreach in the community. To support our work, click here.
Life-writing involves, and goes beyond, biography. It encompasses everything from the complete life to the day-in-the-life, from the fictional to the factional.
At the heart of what we do is supporting and nurturing exceptionally talented young writers and scholars, and offering them opportunities to help establish their career.
We record many of our events, which you can listen to as podcasts via the website or blog.
Blog posts about OCLW events written by students and members can be accessed via the OCLW blog.
OCLW is committed to fostering research into life-writing through the establishment of postdoctoral Research Fellowships, Postgraduate Scholarships, Visiting Scholarships and Visiting Doctoral Studentships attached to OCLW.
4 September 2019Jon Stallworthy Poetry Prize 2020
Wolfson College together with the English Faculty announce Jon Stallworthy Poetry Prize 2020.4 September 2019Philomen Probert's book on the Latin Accent published
Congratulations to Philomen Probert on the publishing of her book "Latin Grammarians on the Latin Accent: The Transformation of Greek Grammatical...26 July 2019Bryan Magee - Obituary
Bryan Magee, philosopher, writer, broadcaster, politician, died at St Luke's Hospital, Headington, on 26 July 2019 aged eighty-nine.
Lectures and Seminars20 - 20Sep SepBeyond the Picture: Calligraphy and the Arts of the Book in Sultanate IndiaFriday 20 September - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
A lecture by Eloïse Brac de la Perrière. Numerous fields of investigation await the attention of specialists of Sultanate India. In particular, the study of illustrated manuscripts offers many perspectives: the iconography, the text, and the book itself, including its materials and their assemblage. The calligraphy from this period has scarcely been studied, despite its marked peculiarities. Calligraphy also provides a bridge between the artistic, intellectual and spiritual fields.Conference01 - 03Oct OctFutures Thinking ConferenceTuesday 1 October - 8:30am to Thursday 3 October - 1:00pm
Futures Thinking is a TORCH research network that uses Humanities methodologies to think through future-oriented technologies and concerns. This conference seeks to explore the future of reading and narrative in relation to how questions of inequality, bias in programming and developing technologies are changing the way that human beings create and interact with narrative and the self.Networking04 - 04Oct OctRF/JRF Lunch TableFriday 4 October - 12:30pm to 1:30pm
RF/JRF informal lunch table in Hall (12:30-1:30pm). Wine and beer are served. Partners and children are welcome.