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.
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.
12 December 2019Secret of Skins
Sarah Skeels, Wolfson student, appears in the new BBC Four natural history documentary, called Secret of Skins.25 November 2019Wolfson alumnus Michael Rands appointed Master of Darwin College
Congratulations to Dr Michael Rands, Wolfson alumnus, who has been appointed Master of Darwin College.22 November 2019Romulus reveals this year's theme
The editorial team revealed the theme with a launch party that had live music, scientific talks, poetry and a juggling performance.
Lectures and Seminars19 - 19Dec DecAccessing and Analysing Culturally Sensitive Content: Data Capsules, Extracted F...Thursday 19 December - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
The long-term goal of the Ātea Project — which is part of New Zealand’s National Science Challenges — is to help build prosperous, culturally thriving and technology-driven Māori economies for future generations.Art Exhibition07 - 25Jan MarHaiku poetry composed by the President, with illustrationsTuesday 7 January - 9:00am to Wednesday 25 March - 4:00pm
This exhibition is located in the corridor between the Buttery and the Cafe.Conference16 - 18Jan JanFrom Concept to Monument: Time and Cost of Construction in the Ancient WorldThursday 16 January - 1:00pm to Saturday 18 January - 6:30pm
The conference sets an exclusive focus on modelling the costs of construction over the course of 1,500 years, from Archaic Greece to the early middle ages. Over the last decade, the general interest in building costs and organisational aspects of historical construction has seen a rise in popularity amongst scholars working on pre-modern architecture.