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

11 November 2019
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy delivers Annual Sarfraz Pakistan Lecture

Pakistan, a deeply patriarchal society is rapidly changing and women are at the forefront.

Alan Bowman Portrait
7 November 2019
Professor Alan Bowman delivers the Ronald Syme Lecture

Alexandria was for many centuries, the largest and most important city in the eastern Mediterranean.

4 November 2019
The Wild East

At the start of October, Harriss-White together with Lucia Michelutti published the collection "The Wild East".

Our upcoming events

Lectures and Seminars
14 - 14
Nov Nov
Book Launch - New Perspectives on Pakistan's Political Economy: State, Clas...
Thursday 14 November - 5:00pm to 6:00pm

This volume makes a major intervention in the debates around the nature of the political economy of Pakistan, focusing on its contemporary social dynamics. This is the first comprehensive academic analysis of Pakistan's political economy after thirty-five years, and addresses issues of state, class and society, examining gender, the middle classes, the media, the bazaar economy, urban spaces and the new elite.

Sports & Wellness
14 - 14
Nov Nov
Mixed Circuit Training
Thursday 14 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.

Annual Lecture
14 - 14
Nov Nov
Annual Sarfraz Pakistan Lecture: Pakistani women on the frontlines
Thursday 14 November - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

The Annual Sarfraz Pakistan Lecture, delivered by Oscar-winning journalist, filmmaker and activist Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. Pakistan, a deeply patriarchal society is rapidly changing and women are at the forefront. This lecture explores the ways in which women across the country are working on the grassroots level to create spheres of influence pushing back on archaic laws, age old practice and using the Internet to arm themselves to have a greater voice in society.