The Lives of Houses
Saturday, 27 May 2017, 10am-5.30pm
Leonard Wolfson Auditorium, Wolfson College, Linton Road, Oxford OX2 6UD
A one-day colloquium convened by Oliver Cox & Sandra Mayer, and hosted by the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing (OCLW) in collaboration with The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH).
The event brings together academics, biographers and curators to explore the ways in which the life stories of well-known individuals are preserved and presented through the architecture and material culture of their homes. Talks on musicians’, architects’ and writers’ houses will focus on the intersections of life-writing and notions of fame and celebrity through physical spaces and objects. With a plenary lecture by Daisy Hay on “Writing Space in Mr and Mrs Disraeli and Dinner with Joseph Johnson” and papers by
- Gillian Darley (Sir John Soane)
- Lucy Walker (Benjamin Britten’s The Red House)
- James Grasby (Edward Elgar Birthplace)
- Alexandra Harris (William Cowper, John Clare and Virginia Woolf)
- Frankie Kubicki (Charles Dickens Museum)
- Nicola Watson (Shakespeare’s New Place)
The colloquium will conclude with a round table discussion among scholars and practitioners. Featuring Head of Specialist Advice for the National Trust, Nino Strachey, biographer and broadcaster Alexandra Harris, and art historian and curator Serena Dyer, the expert panel will cast a spotlight on the strategies available to those who open and present these houses to the public today.
To book a place, visit
For more information, contact
Kate Kennedy (OCLW)