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.
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.
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.
20 May 2019Expanding the diplomatic toolkit: the further evolution of science diplomacy
The fourth 'Diplomacy for the 21st Century' lecture will be held by Sir Peter Gluckman, Former New Zealand Chief Scientific Advisor.20 May 2019Japan's Energy Policy after the Fukushima Disaster
Wolfson College is honoured to welcome Mr Hirose for a lecture on Japan's Energy Policy after the Fukushima Disaster.17 May 2019Wolfson College takes part in International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia
Wolfson College flies the rainbow LGBT flag for the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
Lectures and Seminars21 - 21May MayAsian Treasure Traditions SeminarTuesday 21 May - 3:00pm to 7:00pm
Anna Sehnalova Tuesday 21st May Seminar Room 3, 5.pm - 7pm, followed by dinner at Wolfson Title: Mountain Deities and Their Treasures: Possible Indigenous Origins of the Tibetan gTer ma traditionTuesday 21st May, Reinier Langelaar (IKGA, Austrian Academy of Sciences & Humboldt University of Berlin)
Wolfson College Seminar Room 3, 15:00 - 17:00Lectures and Seminars21 - 21May MayJapan’s Energy Policy After The Fukushima DisasterTuesday 21 May - 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Eight years on from the disastrous accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, how has the clean-up operation gone; what are Japanese attitudes to nuclear power; and what energy mix is right for a resource-poor economic superpower? Naomi Hirose has for many years been at the helm of The Tokyo Electric Power Company which runs Fukushima, and he is in Oxford, at Wolfson College, to set out his views, and to take all questions.Lectures and Seminars23 - 23May MayWolfson Lecture Series: Diplomacy for the 21st Century: Expanding the diplomati...Thursday 23 May - 6:15pm to 7:15pm
Sir Peter Gluckman will deliver the lecture “Expanding the diplomatic toolkit: the further evolution of science diplomacy”.