Welcome to the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing (OCLW). We are 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.

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OCLW was formally established in October 2010, with funding from the Dorset Foundation. Since its creation, we’ve built up a busy schedule of talks and lectures, ‘in conversations’, seminars, workshops, conferences and symposia, and concerts. We hope that you can join us for one of our many events.

This Term’s Events



Recent Posts

Dame Hermione Lee talks to Patrick Gale about Edith Wharton, Penelope Fitzgerald, and the writing of biographies

This month the fifth North Cornwall Book Festival welcomed Dame Hermione Lee, OCLW’s Advisory Director and Emeritus Professor of English Literature in the English Faculty at Oxford University. Hermione spoke to the festival’s artistic director, Patrick Gale, about Edith Wharton and Penelope Fitzgerald, and what they can teach us about the peculiar pressures on women novelists.


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Hermione also ran a workshop on writing biographies. You can read more about this on the North Cornwall Festival’s website.

  1. Conference “The Self in Verse. Exploring Autobiographical Poetry” Leave a reply
  2. New creative life-writing collaboration launched by CLHLWR and REFRAME Sussex Leave a reply
  3. OCLW’s Elleke Boehmer to give the first ‘Indische Letterenlezing’ on the future of the postcolonial past. Leave a reply
  4. Wilfred Owen and Beyond, call for papers Leave a reply
  5. Oxford DNB research bursary recipients, for 2017-18 Leave a reply
  6. Mademoiselle Mercandotti, Hughes Balls Hughes, and the (scandalous) uses of a Green Room Leave a reply
  7. Berto Pasuka: a dancing life of colonialism and diasporic culture Leave a reply
  8. Dancing all night with Aphra Behn: Jeffrey Boys’s Almanack for 1667 Leave a reply
  9. R1 – An Exploration of Content from the Choreographic Wastebasket Leave a reply
  10. Dr Kate Kennedy wins public engagement award Leave a reply
  11. Lydia Lopokova – A 20th Century Life Leave a reply
  12. Tony Gray Visiting Scholarship Leave a reply
  13. Choreographic Forum – nicht schlafen by Alain Platel / les ballets C de la B Leave a reply
  14. Dancing Lives Leave a reply
  15. Marie Taglioni: The First Female Superstar of Ballet Leave a reply
  16. Presence and Absence: Kurt Jooss 1 Reply
  17. Leaves of Silk Leave a reply
  18. Global Lives and Local Perspectives: New Approaches to Tibetan Life Writing Leave a reply
  19. It’s in my diary… Leave a reply
  20. Clio Barnard: The Selfish Giant Leave a reply
  21. Lives of Houses: One-Day Colloquium, 27 May Leave a reply
  22. Faith Biography Leave a reply
  23. Poems of Life and Death Leave a reply
  24. Pursuer or pursued? Holmes on biography Leave a reply
  25. Are you a member of Wolfson College? Do you have an object with a story to tell? A life story to share? Leave a reply
  26. The Self in Verse. Exploring Autobiographical Poetry Leave a reply
  27. Life Goes On: How people in northern Rwanda make sense of psychosocial suffering from war and healing 1 Reply
  28. The Lives of Houses Leave a reply
  29. Dirty Little Secrets Of The Caspian 4 Replies
  30. Maps without borders: Stories of civic science in action Leave a reply
  31. The Celebrity Interview: History, Aesthetics, Method Leave a reply
  32. The Weinrebe Lecture series 2017: Writing World Lives Leave a reply
  33. The Celebrity Interview: History, Aesthetics, Method Leave a reply
  34. War Time: International Society for First World War Studies conference Leave a reply
  35. Global Lives and Local Perspectives: New Approaches to Tibetan Life Writing. Call for Papers Leave a reply
  36. Life-writing and philosophy: call for papers Leave a reply
  37. Celebrity and Life-Writing in Dialogue 1 Reply
  38. Unsteady: reconstructing the life and work of Leila Ann Soltau 1 Reply
  39. Biographical Borders Leave a reply
  40. The Truth in Fiction ~ Notes on a Work in Progress Leave a reply
  41. Oxford’s Writing Life Leave a reply
  42. “Is This How it Really Was?”: Exploring Lives Through Private and Public Writing Leave a reply
  43. The Lille Diaries: A Writers’ Group Weekend Leave a reply
  44. The Private Life of the Diary Leave a reply
  45. Through An Artist’s Eye: Felicia Browne and the Spanish Civil War 1 Reply
  46. The Secret Staircase: private view and talk by Michèle Roberts and Caroline Isgar Leave a reply
  47. Speaking in Absence: Letters in the Digital Age Conference Report Leave a reply
  48. Woven into the Fabric of the Text: Subversive Material Metaphors in Academic Writing 2 Replies
  49. ‘We All Have These Thoughts Sometimes’: A conference on the work of Stevie Smith (1902-1971) 1 Reply