Conference “The Self in Verse. Exploring Autobiographical Poetry”

A collaboration between the University of Oxford (St Hilda’s College, Oxford Centre for Life Writing, Faculty of English Language and Literature and the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages) and the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School for Literary Studies (FSGS) at the Freie Universität Berlin, the three-day conference brought together some of the leading international literary scholars in the field.

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‘Writing War, Writing Lives’ – Chair: Lara Feigel, panellists: Santanu Das, Hope Wolf, Kate McLoughlin, Sue Vice

For the last event of Hilary term OCLW hosted a panel on ‘Writing War, Writing Lives’ to launch a special issue of Textual Practice with that same title. Lara Feigel, who chaired the event, introduced the panellists and asked them each to speak for five minutes on the notion of authenticity in war writing. Kate McLoughlin... Continue Reading →

‘After-Image: Life-Writing and Celebrity’ 19 September 2015 Oxford Conference Summary

The fields of life-writing and celebrity studies have separately gained traction in academia in recent years, but have seldom been explored together. With help from the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing, the Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities and King’s College London, we organized a one-day conference exploring the intersections between these two fields. The conference,... Continue Reading →

OCLW Lunch Seminar: Joanna Kavenna on 16 June 2015

In a wide-ranging lunchtime talk, novelist and travel writer Joanna Kavenna discussed the concepts that preoccupy nearly every writer of biography, memoir and indeed fiction. Through her thinking around the philosophical precepts of time, memory and the self, she considered the questions of how the writer relays the self in time, how the self changes... Continue Reading →

OCLW Visiting Scholars: ‘Life-Writing Operations’

For the first event of Trinity Term the OCLW welcomed its own visiting scholars who gave brief presentations on their current life-writing projects. John Bak started the seminar with a fascinating summary of his work editing Tennessee Williams’ Ur-Memoirs. Bak introduced his audience to the problems of working with this material by way of an... Continue Reading →

OCLW lunchtime seminar: Frances Larson on ‘The Things About Henry Wellcome’, 10 March 2015

Exploring the miniature, the gigantic and biographies of scale, anthropologist and writer Frances Larson shared her work on Henry Wellcome (1853-1936) from her 2009 book An Infinity of Things with the OCLW lunchtime seminar. The talk explored Larson’s use of objects as biographical evidence for Wellcome’s life. Her approach was to view Wellcome’s life through... Continue Reading →

Professor Lord Peter Hennessy: ‘The Importance of Being Personal: Political History and Life’

As part of the Weinrebe Lectures in Life-Writing on the theme of Political History and Life-Writing, OCLW welcomed Professor Lord Peter Hennessy last Tuesday to give a lecture entitled ‘The Importance of Being Personal: Political History and Life’. True to his chosen title, Hennessy’s lecture was in large part introspective. Reflecting on his personal development... Continue Reading →

The Quest for Materials: OCLW conference write-up

The Centre recently hosted a conference of thirty life-writers, all at various stages of their project and all keen to get to get to grips with some of the practical and ethical questions involved in writing a life. Lyndall Gordon, Elleke Boehmer and Clare Morgan facilitated a series of engaging and thoughtful workshops which encouraged... Continue Reading →

Guest post: Procrastination Conference at OCLW

For your those of you supposed to be working right now, but are reading this blog instead, conference organizers Liz Chatterjee and Danielle Yardy share their  illustrated and humorous summary of the 'Procrastination: Cultural Explorations' conference at OCLW in July. This conference was the winner of the OCLW-TORCH postgraduate conference award, and the competition will be repeated this... Continue Reading →

Guest Post: Review of the 2014 International Association for Biography and Autobiography Conference, Part II

In part two of a three-part series, Seraphima Kennedy reports back from ‘Autobiography in Transit,’ conference of the International Association for Biography and Autobiography in Banff, Canada. Biotexts, Justice and the Metonymics of Pain  By the second day of IABA 2014, standards were already high. The Banff Centre, tucked into one end of the Bow... Continue Reading →

Guest post: Review of the Conference for the International Association for Biography and Autobiography (IABA) 2014, Part I of III

Hello life-writers! We are delighted to bring you another three-part guest post series this summer.  Seraphima Kennedy, a PhD candidate at Goldsmiths, reviews aspects of the 2014 IABA conference in Banff. --------- Conference for the International Association for Biography and Autobiography (IABA) Auto/biography in Transit May 29-June 1, 2014 Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada  ‘Autobiography in... Continue Reading →

Guest post: OCLW conference, ‘Genius for Sale! Artistic Production and Economic Context in the Long Nineteenth Century’ on 8th May 2014

Below is Diana Greenwald's summary of "Genius for Sale!" an OCLW conference organized by Diana Greenwald and Jonathan Paine: Most academic conferences are discipline-specific— historians meet with historians, economists with economists, etc. The goal of “Genius for Sale! Artistic Production and Economic Context in the Long Nineteenth Century” was to break this pattern. This conference... Continue Reading →

Guest Post: Oxford Dance Symposium, 15 and 16 April 2014

Jennifer Thorp, an organizer of the 16th Annual Oxford Dance Symposium, summarizes the very successful event below.  ‘The dancer in celebrity culture in the long-eighteenth century:  reputations, images, portraits’ The 16th Annual Oxford Dance Symposium, held in association with the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing at Wolfson College on 15 & 16 April 2014, took as... Continue Reading →

OCLW Lunch with James Hamilton: “Unrolling the Tapestry: Weaving Interrelated Lives in Books and Exhibitions” on 11 March

Matthew here, reporting on the final event of what proved to be an eventful Hilary Term 2014.  Over lunch on Tuesday, 11 March, the noted author, biographer, and curator James Hamilton gave a talk entitled ‘Unrolling the Tapestry: Weaving Interrelated Lives in Books and Exhibitions’.  Hamilton’s wide-ranging interests include art and science in nineteenth-century London,... Continue Reading →

Work in Progress Seminar 19th February 2014

Lucinda Fenny here, the final member of the OCLW publicity team, welcome to my first blog post and I look forward to sharing more of my thoughts with you over the coming months. On Wednesday evening, in the company of an intimate audience, OCLW’s visiting members presented an outline of the work they are conducting... Continue Reading →

OCLW Workshop on Literary Letters

Hello life-writers! My name is Matthew Sellers, and I’m one-third of the new OCLW publicity team.  Over the course of the term, Nanette O’Brien, Lucinda Fenny, and I will be blogging about the events OCLW hosts.  To kick off, here’s a summary of our first event, the OCLW Workshop on Literary Letters, convened by Professor... Continue Reading →

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