Dr Frances Weightman

Dr Frances Weightman

Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies

Summary: Chinese fiction and authorial identity; authorial prefaces and paratexts; political dissent and Chinese democracy movements; seventeenth-century classical Chinese tales

About Dr Frances Weightman

My PhD (Edinburgh, 2002) was on seventeenth-century Chinese fiction, but I am now looking at Chinese fiction of various periods, spanning the premodern/modern divide. I am currently working on a monograph on Chinese authorial prefaces.

Key Publications and Activities

Books and Monographs

Journal Articles and Papers

  • "Ideals of Childlikeness in Late Imperial China", in Ming Qing Yanjiu, (Naples, 2006) pp. 178-218
  • 'Milestones on the Road to Maturity: growing up with the civil service examinations', in Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies Vol 4. no.2, (Seoul, Aug 2004) pp.113-135.
  • 'Challenges of the post-Deng era: social fall-out from China's reforms' in The Journal of the Modern Studies Association, 2002, pp.23-27 (invited article).

Book Chapters

  • "Wuxin chaliu de chuangzaoxing: zhongguo xiaoshuo zixuzhong de chuangzuolun 无心插柳的创造性:中国小说自序的创作论" [Inadvertent creativity: authorial responsibility in the Chinese preface]" in Zhang Hongsheng and Qian Nanxiu (eds), Zhongguo wenxue: chuantong yu xiandai de duihua 中国文学:传统与现代的对话 [Chinese Literature:a dialogue between tradition and modernity], (Shanghai: Shanghai guji cbs, 2007), pp. 79-91 (in Chinese).
  • "Folly (chi) in the Liaozhai zhiyi' in Love, Hatred and Other Passions: Questions and Themes on Emotion in Chinese Civilization, Paolo Santangelo and Donatella Guida (eds.), p. 192-211 (Leiden: Brill, 2006).
  • 'Constructing an authorial persona: some features of early twentieth century Chinese authorial prefaces,' in From National Tradition to Globalization, from Realism to Postmodernism: trends in modern Chinese literature, Oglobin, Rodionov, Serebryakov, Speshnev and Storozhuk (eds.) (St Petersburg, 2004), pp. 266-280.


  • 'The Qianlong Emperor and his reign' (Zhu Cengru) and 'Paintings and Calligraphy by the Qianlong Emperor' (Yang Danxia) both in Zhang Hongxing, The Qianlong Emperor: Treasures from the Forbidden City (Edinburgh: National Museums of Scotland Publishing Ltd, 2002), pp. 141-149 and pp. 175-180 resp.
  • 'Contextualisation in the Contemporary Chinese Church', (Duan Qi) in Christianity and Modernisation: A Chinese Debate, (eds. Wickeri and Cole; DAGA press, Hong Kong, 1995) pp.33-58.
  • 'Wei Jingsheng's Trial Defence', in Wei Jingsheng and the Prospects for Democracy in China, (eds. Hart and Loden; CPAS Stockholm University, Stockholm, 1995) pp.49-58. 

Associated Websites

The Association for Speakers of Chinese as a Second Language (ASCSL) [http://www.chinesespeakers.org]

Funded Research Projects

  • 'Why Chinese writers write: authorial prefaces and their implications', funded by Leverhulme Trust (2002-2004).
  • 'The Liaozhai zhiyi and the child-like mind', funded by a doctoral fellowship from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation (2000-2001).

Conferences and other activities

  • British Association for Chinese Studies, Jan 2004
  • Problems of Far Eastern Literatures, St. Petersburg, June 2004
  • European Association of Chinese Studies, Heidelberg, Aug 2004
  • Association for Chinese and Comparative Literature, Nanjing June 2005
  • Contemporary China Seminar series WUN video conference, Leeds 2006
  • British Association for Chinese Studies, Manchester 2007
  • European Association of Chinese Studies, Lund, Aug 2008
  • European Association of Chinese Studies, Riga, July 2010
  • "Paratexts in Late Imperial Chinese Book Culture", International Workshop, Heidelberg, Sept 2010

Other Professional Responsibilities

  • Founding member and co-Chair of the Association for Speakers of Chinese as a Second Language (ASCSL)
  • External examiner for UG programmes in Chinese at University of Manchester and University of Oxford
  • Language Consultant for forthcoming Routledge Chinese Language textbook series
  • Council member of British Association for Chinese Studies (2004-7)
  • Editor of Bulletin of the British Association for Chinese Studies [BBACS] (2004-7)  



  • EAST3050 Modern Documentary Chinese (convenor)
  • EAST3070 Contemporary Chinese Literature (convenor)
  • EAST1070 Modern China (convenor)  


  • EAST5261M Intensive Chinese 1 (convenor)
  • MODL5102M Specialised Chinese-English Translation (literary texts) 

PhD Supervision

I am happy to provide PhD supervision in the following areas:

  • Chinese fiction of all periods
  • Dissident literature
  • Chinese thought

Guidance on PhDs can be found in the Research Postgraduate pages.