This OCLW strand explores the relationship between life-writing and film, as the two interact across documentary, historical film, biopics, and autobiographical film. It brings together both academics and practitioners to create a dialogue between theory, criticism, and practice. It imagines life-writing across literature, biography, autobiography, and film as a set of interlocked economies—representational, political, and financial—that can best be understood in conjunction. Events planned for the near future will cover themes from life-writing and literary adaptation to autobiographical documentary and the role of life-writing in national cinemas.
The strand is co-ordinated by Alexis Brown, who recently completed her doctorate in English Literature at the University of Oxford, supported by a Rhodes scholarship and an Oxford Centre for Life-Writing Doctoral Award. Her thesis, “The Author on Film: Life-Writing in the Cinema”, concerns the adaptation of post-war autobiographical literature. Her research interests are in life-writing, documentary, historical and biopic film, as well as twentieth-century literature. She recently conducted an interview with director Clio Barnard at the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing.