The Oxford Centre for Life-Writing

The Oxford Centre for Life-Writing (OCLW) at Wolfson College is directed by Wolfson Fellow Professor Elleke Boehmer, Professor of World Literature in English in the English Faculty, with Dr Kate Kennedy as Associate Director. Dr Katherine Collins, a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in Education, is Public Engagement Director. 

OCLW was founded in 2011 by the then President of Wolfson College, the biographer Dame Hermione Lee. It has since built an international reputation as a unique hub of activities relating to all aspects of life-writing. Read more from Hermione Lee on life writing...

The Centre is committed to outreach, collaboration, and fostering research into life-writing. It promotes a lively, cross-disciplinary dialogue on the full range of life-writing, including biography, memoir and social media forms, through a busy programme of events, including lunch talks, performances, panel discussions, seminars and full-day workshops.

Life-Writing in Oxford

Oxford is an international hub for biographical activities. Oxford University Press publishes the Dictionary of National Biography, the most famous biographical publication in the world; as well as The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and The Grove Dictionary of Art, containing thousands of biographical entries on musicians and artists. The Ashmolean Museum is committed to biographical interpretations of its works of art.

There are biographers at Oxford University working within many different fields and there are some distinguished non-academic biographers living and working in Oxford. OCLW was conceived as a central point for these many organisations and individuals, as well as to promote the study of interdisciplinary biography from postgraduate level onwards.