Oxford History of Life-Writing Launch

history of life writing title

We hope you'll join us this week for the launch of the first two volumes of The Oxford History of Life-Writing, published recently by Oxford University Press. 

There will be a panel discussion introduced by Hermione Lee and chaired by Zachary Leader, which brings together the editors of the two volumes: Karen A. Winstead, Professor of English, The Ohio State University; and Alan Stewart, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University.

They will be joined by distinguished scholars of life-writing Patrick HayesLaura MarcusRebecca BullardJuliette Atkinson, and Julian North.


The details of the event are as follows:

Date: Wednesday 31 October 2018
Time: 5:30 - 7pm, with wine reception to follow
Venue: Leonard Wolfson Auditorium


We hope to see you at Wolfson College on Wednesday for this exceptional opportunity to hear from several contributors to these important publications.


Volume 1: The Middle Ages explores the richness and variety of life-writing from late Antiquity to the threshold of the Renaissance. During the Middle Ages, writers from Bede to Chaucer were thinking about life and experimenting with ways to translate lives, their own and others', into literature. Their subjects included career religious, saints, celebrities, visionaries, pilgrims, princes, philosophers, poets, and even a few 'ordinary people.

Volume 2: Early Modern explores life-writing in England between 1500 and 1700, and argues that this was a period which saw remarkable innovations in biography, autobiography, and diary-keeping that laid the foundations for our modern life-writing. This book portrays early modern England as a site of multiple, sometimes conflicting possibilities for life-writing, all of which have something to teach us about how the period understood both the concept of a 'life' and what it mean to 'write' a life.


The Oxford Centre for Life-Writing, OCLW

Contact email: oclw@wolfson.ox.ac.uk
Website: The Oxford Centre for Life-Writing
Audience: Open to all