The Oxford Centre for Life-Writing (OCLW)

Life-writing can involve memoir, poetry, song, weather, memory, love, loss, comedy and joy. It can cover every possible form of telling a life-story, from diaries and letters to documentary film and music-performance, from biography and autobiography to anthropology and history.

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 the Centre has 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. OCLW is directed by Professor Elleke Boehmer, with Dr Kate Kennedy as Associate Director, and Dr Katherine Collins as Fellow.

OCLW promotes 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.

The Centre is committed to outreach, collaboration, and fostering research into life-writing through postdoctoral Research Fellowships, Postgraduate Scholarships, Visiting Scholarships and Visiting Doctoral Studentships. It supports early career academics at a critical time, and provides a central point for established practitioners for discussion and international collaboration.

OCLW has a significant educational and outreach impact beyond the college and the academy. The majority of the events are free, and people come to visit the Centre from communities outside the university, people who’ve never set foot before in an Oxford college.

For more information, please visit our website.

Cluster members

Cluster Members

Elleke Boehmer
Elleke Boehmer
Professor of World Literature in English
Paolo Bugliani
Research Fellow
Katherine Collins
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow
Alexandra Effe
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Kate Kennedy
Kate Kennedy-Allum
Weinrebe Research Fellow in Life-writing
Dame Hermione Lee
Wolfson College President 2008-2017
News
Events

The latest from Wolfson College

Aamer Sarfraz portrait photo
7 August 2020
Aamer Sarfraz appointed to the House of Lords

Wolfson congratulates Aamer Sarfraz on his appointment by The Queen as a member of the House of Lords.

George Smith portrait photo
5 August 2020
Professor George Smith Honoured by Royal Society

Congratulations to Professor George Smith, FRS, who has been awarded the Armourers & Brasiers' Company Prize 2020

Balcony view from the Harbour lawn
8 July 2020
Refurbishment of the balcony

This project has been given the go-ahead as part of the Estates Strategy to improve our College buildings and environment.

Our upcoming events

Parties and Dinners
12 - 12
Sep Sep
Degree Day
Saturday 12 September - 11:00am to 3:30pm

Preceding the degree ceremony in the Sheldonian Theatre at 14:30, the College hosts the Signing of the Graces and a celebratory reception for our graduands and their family and friends. This event is by invitation only; please see the degree days page on our website for further information. 

Lectures and Seminars
05 - 05
Nov Nov
Margaret Oliphant and Oxford
Thursday 5 November - 1:30pm

Merryn Williams is a poet and critic. Her latest works are The Fragile Bridge: New and Selected Poems (Shoestring Press) and Mansfield Park Revisited (Plas Gwyn Books). At present she is collecting poems about the pandemic and the lockdown. Merryn is a long-standing member of Wolfson's Common Room.

Parties and Dinners
14 - 14
Nov Nov
Degree Day
Saturday 14 November - 11:00am to 3:30pm

Preceding the degree ceremony in the Sheldonian Theatre at 14:30, the College hosts the Signing of the Graces and a celebratory reception for our graduands and their family and friends. This event is by invitation only; please see the degree days page on our website for further information.