Welcome to the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing blog. OCLW is a research centre based at Wolfson College at the University of Oxford, designed to support those who write auto/biography and those who undertake research on different forms of life narratives. The centre is directed by acclaimed biographer Hermione Lee (Virginia Woolf; Edith Wharton; Body Parts: Essays on Life-Writing), associate-directed by academic and writer Elleke Boehmer (Nelson Mandela; J.M. Coetzee in Context and Theory; Bloodlines); and administered by me, its research fellow, academic, biographer and broadcaster Kate Kennedy (The Silent Morning: Culture and Memory after the Armistice; The First World War: Literature, Music, Memory; Literary Britten).
OCLW was formally established in October 2010, with funding from the Dorset Foundation. Since its foundation, we’ve built up a busy schedule of events (including talks and lectures, ‘in conversations’, seminars, workshops, conferences and symposia, and concerts; most of which take place at Wolfson College, Oxford) and turning our thoughts to long-term research initiatives. We’ve been delighted at the enthusiastic attendance of these activities, and profoundly struck by the appetite that exists for serious discussion of issues concerning life-writing.
OCLW’s website provides a full, formal description of our activities, advisory committee, and membership; as well as details about study opportunities with OCLW. (Please email me if you’d like to be added to our e-mailing list). This blog hopes to offer a more informal forum through which many of the conversations that are begun at our events can continue; and which will enable interested parties who are unable to participate directly in our activities to take part in a different form, at a distance. We hope that articles and resources posted on this blog will extend the community of life-writers and life-writing researchers that OCLW has begun to build around us in Oxford, into the virtual landscape. I have also set up a Yahoo Groups page for OCLW, for those who prefer to converse online in a less public format (the group is restricted to members only).
We would love to hear from any life-writing practitioners or researchers who would like to write for the blog. Please consider contributing the following:
- Reviews of books, events, or film, TV or radio programmes relating to life-writing
- Reviews and feedback on OCLW’s events
- Short pieces (up to 1000 words) about any issues (theoretical, historical, political, current) pertaining to life-writing
- News about current life-writing trends and experiments, in digital media or otherwise
- Information about forthcoming events anywhere in the world relating to life-writing
- Short reflections (up to 1000 words) on life-writing methodology; advice for other life-writers; queries about practical aspects of life-writing
- Short anecdotes (up to 300 words) about your life-writing experiences
- Short (200 words) descriptions of your own research interests, to be added to our Researchers/Writers List
- Information about upcoming funding opportunities for life-writers
For more information about how to contribute, please see the instructions for guest posts.