Dr Frances Weightman

Dr Frances Weightman

Associate Professor of Chinese Studies

Summary: Chinese fiction and authorial identity; literary translation and publication; authorial prefaces and paratexts; seventeenth-century classical Chinese tales; dissent.

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 have worked on Chinese authorial prefaces, and I run the Writing Chinese project on contemporary Chinese writing/translation and authors.

PhD Supervision

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

  • Chinese fiction of all periods
  • Literary translation between Chinese and English

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

Key Publications and Activities

Academic Books and Monographs

Other edited volumes

  • Chinese Journeys special issue of Stand Magazine (2017) (co-editor, with Sarah Dodd)
  • Chinese Cultural Terms and Phrases in English (co-editor, with Gao Wanlong and Wang Aimin) (Beijing: China Social Sciences Press, 2015) http://www.csspw.com.cn/Item/49115.aspx Also published as Handbook of Chinese Cultural Terms (Trafford Publishing, 2012)

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 Writing Chinese research network

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

Funded Research Projects

  • "Reading Chinese: Engaging new Audiences", funded by the AHRC, follow-on-funding bid for Writing Chinese (2016-2017, c. £90K)
  • "Writing Chinese: Authors, Authorship and Authority", funded by the AHRC via WREAC (2014-2016, c £30K)
  • 'Why Chinese writers write: authorial prefaces and their implications', funded by Leverhulme Trust (2002-2004, c. £30K).
  • 'The Liaozhai zhiyi and the child-like mind', funded by a doctoral fellowship from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation (2000-2001, c £9k).

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
  • Association for Chinese and Comparative Literature, Hong Kong, 2017 

Other Professional Responsibilities

  • Chair of Expert Panel for Mandarin Excellence Programme
  • Founding member and co-Chair of the Association for Speakers of Chinese as a Second Language (ASCSL)
  • Previously external examiner for UG programmes in Chinese at University of Manchester and University of Oxford
  • Language Consultant for Routledge Chinese Language textbook series and Harper Collins dictionary 
  • 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)  
  • EAST2090 Classics of Chinese Fiction and Thought (convenor)


  • MODL5102M Specialised Chinese-English Translation (literary texts)