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.

News
Events

The latest from Wolfson College

New academic wing. Credit: John Cairns
14 November 2018
First Workshop in Hindi at the University of Oxford

The South Asia Research Cluster at Wolfson College is participating in a three-day Hindi Diaspora Literature workshop. The workshop will be...

12 November 2018
Aris Lecture: Magic, Healing, and Ethics in Tibetan Buddhism

Dr Sam van Schaik will deliver the Fourth Aris Lecture on Magic, Healing, and Ethics in Tibetan Buddhism.

Sir Tim Hitchens' Investiture Copyright: Windsor Castle
6 November 2018
Tim Hitchens receives knighthood from the Queen at Windsor Castle

The College president was honoured for his service to the Queen.

Our upcoming events

Lectures and Seminars
19 - 19
Nov Nov
AWRC: Iranian World Seminar Series: The Crucible of Empire: The Sasanian World a...
Monday 19 November - 5:00pm
Lectures and Seminars
19 - 19
Nov Nov
In Conversation and Open Audience Q&A with Christian Levett
Monday 19 November - 5:30pm to 7:00pm

In Conversation and Open Audience Q&A with Christian Levett, art and antiquity collector and founder of the Mougins Museum of Classical Art on 19 November from 5.30 pm in the Auditorium, Wolfson College. Refreshments will be served afterwards.

Clubs & Societies
19 - 19
Nov Nov
Italian language course by OUIS
Monday 19 November - 7:30pm to 9:00pm

The Oxford University Italian Society (OUIS) organises weekly classes open to all those interested in learning Italian. The beginners course is in Wolfson (seminar room 3, but check at the lodge) on Mondays at 19:30. Italian classes at other levels are also organised in different locations.