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.
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.
The Oxford Centre for Life-Writing’s Research Fellow, Dr Kate Kennedy, is responsible for most aspects of its administration.
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.
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.
21 January 2019Professor Tarje Nissen-Meyer to deliver Annual London Lecture at Lincoln's Inn
Wolfson College is privileged to have Professor Tarje Nissen-Meyer deliver the Annual London Lecture.18 January 2019Jon Stallworthy Poetry Prize 2019 Winner Announced
Wolfson College is honoured to announce that the winner of this year's competition was Andrew Wynn Owen for Lines of Decline.17 January 2019The Academics at Risk campaign
Last term the College raised almost £25,000 to place an academic at risk and their family at Wolfson.
Lectures and Seminars22 - 22Jan JanWeinrebe Lecture 1, Notes from the Silence: writing the lives of women composersTuesday 22 January - 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Due to the tireless work of musicologists such as Anna Beer, a rich legacy of music by women has been, and continues to be, unearthed. The tide is, however, beginning to turn and we are hearing more female composers. But how can we, indeed how should we, write these composers' lives? In the first Weinrebe Lecture of 2019, Anna will share her insights into gender, creativity and life-writing.Networking23 - 23Jan JanDigital Research Cluster LunchWednesday 23 January - 12:30pm to 1:30pm
Do you use, or are you interested in using, digital technologies for research in any discipline? The lunch is an opportunity to meet and discuss your work with technology specialists and other academics, and to explore further opportunities in the College and Oxford. Contact David Robey (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further information.Lectures and Seminars23 - 23Jan JanAWRC Lunch Table and Talk - Dr Elise MoreroWednesday 23 January - 1:15pm to 2:00pm
Lunch Table in Hall from 12:30, followed by a talk in the Florey Room at 13:15 delivered by Dr Elise Morero (Postdoc researcher at the Khalili Research Centre) on The contribution of ancient technology analysis to the history and history of art: the study of relief-carving on medieval Islamic rock crystal vessels (9-12th c.). Coffee and cakes will be served.
Lunch Table open to Cluster members.
Talk open to ALL.