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.
11 November 2019Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy delivers Annual Sarfraz Pakistan Lecture
Pakistan, a deeply patriarchal society is rapidly changing and women are at the forefront.7 November 2019Professor Alan Bowman delivers the Ronald Syme Lecture
Alexandria was for many centuries, the largest and most important city in the eastern Mediterranean.4 November 2019The Wild East
At the start of October, Harriss-White together with Lucia Michelutti published the collection "The Wild East".
Lectures and Seminars14 - 14Nov NovBook 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 & Wellness14 - 14Nov NovMixed Circuit TrainingThursday 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 Lecture14 - 14Nov NovAnnual Sarfraz Pakistan Lecture: Pakistani women on the frontlinesThursday 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.