We’ve got a lot going on, this summer term: two writing workshops, two evening seminars (one on how the state writes our lives; one on the importance of life-writing to Alzheimer’s research), one guest lecture (on Cézanne), and one life-writing lunchtime seminar. Phew! For those of you who sadly can’t attend the events in person, many will be recorded and podcasted, and uploaded to the Podcasts section of this blog, so keep an eye out. There will also be reports/reviews from each event uploaded to the Events Archive section of the blog, shortly after the event. If you follow us on Twitter (@OxLifeWriting), you’ll receive updates notifying you of the publication of new podcasts. But we’ll hopefully see you in person at one of our events in the near future!
- Friday 3 May, 9.30am-5.30pm (Haldane Room): Workshop: ‘Narrating a Life: Memoir and Autobiography’. £80/£55. This full-day immersion in the practice of memoir and autobiography will take place in the beautiful surroundings of Wolfson College, Oxford, and will be led by some of the leading practitioners in modern life-writing, including the poet, autobiographer and critic Carmen Bugan, OCLW’s director Hermione Lee, and OCLW’s research fellow Rachel Hewitt. Participants will benefit from talks and lectures by prestigious guest speakers, practical workshops and group activities, discussing their work with leading life-writers, and the opportunity to meet and befriend contemporaries who are working on the act of narrating their own lives, all in convivial surroundings. Please click here for more information, and for details of how to register.
- Tuesday 7 May, 5.30-7pm (Haldane Room): OCLW will host a seminar on ‘Cognitive Archaeology: Life-Writing and Alzheimer’s’, with Dr Peter Garrard and Dr Samrah Ahmed. The earliest stages of cognitive decline dementia are difficult to pinpoint, yet early detection is of significant importance to understanding Alzheimer’s disease and initiating suitable treatment. A number of authors have used retrospective analysis to describe preclinical linguistic decline in written texts and spoken language samples. This talk will review the methods available for classifying and comparing such samples, and present some analyses of historical texts derived from verbatim records of preclinical spoken activity, for example in the writings of celebrated English novelist and philosopher Iris Murdoch (1922e1999), who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 1997.
- Monday 20 May, 5.30-7pm (Haldane Room): Alex Danchev will talk about his new book, Cézanne: A Life.
- Tuesday 28 May, 7.30-9.30pm (Haldane Room): Workshop: ‘Publishing the Story’.Designed to assist biographers, this evening workshop offers practical advice regarding the final stage of biographical writing: publishing the story. This will be led by a number of publishing professionals, including an agent, an editor and an author with a range of first-hand publishing experience. The workshop is free of charge, but in order to attend, you MUST book a place in advance, by emailing Rachel Hewitt.
- Tuesday 11 June, 1-2pm (Haldane Room): Life-Writing Lunch: Alison Light. The Life-Writing Lunch is a termly lunchtime seminar series, in which practising auto/biographers discuss their work-in-progress in an informal, friendly setting. Over a buffet sandwich lunch, speakers talk for around twenty-five minutes about methodological or research issues they are currently facing in their work. This is followed by enthusiastic discussion with and between audience members, generating ideas that may prove helpful to all concerned. The lunches take place each term in the Haldane Room, Wolfson College, on the Tuesday of the final week of each term, between 1pm and 2pm. A buffet sandwich lunch is provided, and all are welcome. There is no charge, but please RSVP with any dietary requirements to Rachel Hewitt by Thursday 6 June, if you wish to attend.