Oxford Centre for Life-Writing

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.

News
Events

The latest from Wolfson College

Homes4All at Wolfson College
11 March 2019
Wolfson College makes its annual donation to eight individual charities

Each year the College's Social Committee shortlist eight national and local charities to receive a donation of £400. 

7 March 2019
Alumnus Phil Hewitt publishes book on recovery after trauma

In February 2016, marathon runner and journalist Phil Hewitt were attacked in Cape Town. Deeply traumatised by the attack, he turned to running -...

Art by Dominique Zinkpè
6 March 2019
New works of art in the Haldane Room and Upper Common Room

The College is delighted to announce that new artworks are on display in the Haldane Room and the Upper Common Room by contemporary African...

Our upcoming events

Clubs & Societies
31 - 31
Mar Mar
Romulus Call for Contributions
Sunday 31 March - 11:59pm

Looking to express your creative side? Romulus, Wolfson College's literary magazine, welcomes submissions in the form of poems, short stories, essays, papers, photos, illustrations, or anything else that can be printed. This year's theme is Ritual. Written pieces should generally be no longer than 2,500 words. Academic papers are welcome, but should be accessible to a general audience. 

Lectures and Seminars
15 - 16
Apr Apr
Oxford Symposium in Silicon Solar Cell Technology
Monday 15 April - 9:00am to Tuesday 16 April - 6:00pm
Lectures and Seminars
02 - 02
May May
Wolfson Lecture Series 2018-19: Diplomacy for the 21st Century: Twenty-first cen...
Thursday 2 May - 6:15pm to 7:15pm

After 35 years in diplomacy, Sir Tim Hitchens considers how 21st century will be different from 20th century diplomacy. He will consider the evolution of diplomatic tradecraft, and the different cultures of diplomacy around the world.