BiographyIn my new book, Paine’s Rights of Man, I begin by exploring the history of rights from 12th through 18th century, focusing mostly on Britain. I also show how Paine engaged with these ideas in his earlier writings. Part 1 examines how Paine interpreted the French Revolution and how he intended to implement these ideas in Britain: for instance, his arguments for the eradication of hereditary government and church-state establishments as well as his criticisms of the British constitution and the relationship between monarch and Parliament. Part 2 addresses Paine’s conceptualizations of war, constitutions, and republics; special attention is paid to his view of the American constitution of 1787. To what extent was it accurate? Paine’s attempts to wrestle with the problems of poverty among the elderly and young families is compared with other contemporary solutions. Finally, the conclusion takes a brief look at the reception and legacy of Rights of Man as well as its relevance to the 21st century.
Much of my other work is anchored around the Gothic/horror genres. How do they reflect contemporary issues even without direct references? My doctoral dissertation focused on the Gothic and Jacobin novels of 1780-1800, demonstrating how their anti-aristocratic and anti-Catholic sentiment, for instance, reflected the biases of parliamentary reform and the push for the religious toleration of Protestant Dissenters.
I am also interested in the ways in which the novels and supernatural stories of J. Sheridan Le Fanu were shaped by the development of Irish nationalism. This is a book-length project.
Another book project is on the development of American horror of 1960-1990.
Not least, I am involved in developing a series of brief guides to classic horror works for Manchester University Press, “Reading the Gothic.” I am currently working on guides to Matthew Lewis’ Monk and Stephen King’s Shining.
Manuscript of Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man (100,000 words) published in April 2020.
Proposals for Guides to Gothic Classics: Book proposal on Matthew Lewis’ Monk accepted by Manchester University Press in June 2020. Guide will run approximately 65,000 to 80,000 words. Forthcoming in 2022.
“’History repeats itself’: Rewriting the Union in J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s Checkmate,” Le Fanu Studies, May 2010. http://www.lefanustudies.com/checkmate.html. [Note: this site was taken down in 2015.]
“Faulty Towers: Reform, Radicalism and the Gothic Castle, 1760-1800,” Romanticism on the Net 44, December 2006 http://www.erudit.org/revue/ron/2006/v/n44/013996ar.html
“Dark And Dangerous Designs: Tales of Oppression, Dispossession, and Repossession, 1770-1800,” Romanticism on the Net 28, November 2002 http://www.erudit.org/revue/ron/2002/v/n28/007205ar.html.
“From Nobodaddies to Noble Daddies: Writing Political and Paternal Authority in Fiction of the 1780s and ‘90s” in Eighteenth-century Life, Spring 2002. Pp. 1-22.
Guest Editor of special religion issue of Romanticism on the Net, Feb. 2002 (‘Religion and Romantic Revision’) with introduction by Frances A. Chiu and essays by Emma Mason, Jon Mee, Robert Jensen-Rix, Martin Priestman, Daniel Sanjiv Roberts, and Gina Luria Walker available at http://users.ox.ac.uk/~scat0385
Proposal and introduction for the first modern edition of Ann Radcliffe’s Journey made in the summer of 1794 accepted by Broadview Press. To be completed by April 2021.
Editor of J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s Rose and the Key (1871), Kansas City: Valancourt Books, November 2007. This is a scholarly edition with a critical introduction to the novel, notes, and appendices. See http://valancourtbooks.com/theroseandthekey.html. Received a positive review at Le Fanu Studies in May 2008, Vol. 3 no. 1. See http://www.lefanustudies.com/rosekey.html .
Editor of Ann Radcliffe’s Gaston de Blondeville (1826), Chicago: Valancourt Books, April 2006. Designed for undergraduates and graduate students alike, this is the first modern scholarly edition of Radcliffe’s posthumously published novel, complete with an introduction to the novel, notes, and appendices. See http://www.valancourtbooks.com/gastondeblondeville.html. Received a positive review in the Times Literary Supplement (June 1, 2007).
“Patricia Rozema’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park” (3000 words) for Gale Researcher, 2017.
Critical Introduction (13,000 words) of Thomas Paine for Scribner’s British Writers Supplement XXIV. Chief Editor: Jay Parini. New York: Gale Cengage Learning, 2017. Pp. 199-221.
Critical introduction (13,000 words) of Mary Hays for Scribner’s British Writers Supplement XXIII. Chief Editor: Jay Parini. New York: Gale Cengage Learning, 2016. Pp. 139-160.
Critical introduction of J. Sheridan Le Fanu (12,000 words) in Scribner’s British Writers Supplement XIX. Chief Editor: Jay Parini. New York: Gale Cengage Learning, 2012. Pp. 157-176.
Critical introduction of Ann Radcliffe (10,000 words) in Scribner’s British Writers’ Series Retrospective Supplement III, Chief Editor: Jay Parini. New York: Gale Cengage Learning, 2010. Pp. 233-53.
Review of Gary Crawford, ed. Reflections in a Glass Darkly: Essays on J. Sheridan Le Fanu in Gothic Studies, November 2013, pp. 108-110.
Review of Helen Braithwaite’s Romanticism, Publishing, and Dissent: Joseph Johnson and the Cause of Liberty in Romanticism on the Net 40, November 2005 http://www.erudit.org/revue/ron/2005/v/n40/012468ar.html.
Review of Thomas O. Beebee’s Epistolary Fiction in Europe, 1500-1850 in Notes and Queries, September 2000.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
British Reform and Radicalism, 1640-1900
English Gothic, 1760-1800
Irish Gothic, 1830-1900
American Horror, 1960-1990
21st-century politics and horror
Published: Nov 17, 2006 by Romanticism on the Net
Authors: Frances A. Chiu
Subjects: Political Science, History, Literature, Art & Visual Culture
This essay demonstrates how reformers and conservatives were increasingly inclined to deploy architectural metaphors in their discussions of Britain’s political institutions and establishments. As such, I analyze the means by which Jacobin and Gothic novelists adopted the Gothic castle as a criticism of Britain’s so-called “establishments” and, more interestingly, came to explore the idea of identification between villains and their dark abodes in their novels.
Published: Nov 10, 2002 by Romanticism on the Net
Authors: Frances A.Chiu
Subjects: Political Science, History, Literature, Gender & Intersectionality Studies
This essay demonstrates how the central themes and discursive strategies of Gothic novels from 1770 through 1800 conform to those found in contemporary reformist and radical writing despite their lack of overt references to politics. While showing how political discourse affects the shaping of literary genre, it also shows how genre affects the shaping of political discourse in the rise of the so-called public sphere.
From Nobodaddies to Noble Daddies: Writing Political and Paternal Authority in English Fiction of the 1780s and 1790s
Published: Mar 01, 2002 by Eighteenth-century Life
Authors: Frances A. Chiu
Subjects: Political Science, History, Literature, Gender & Sexuality
This essay analyzes paternal metaphors in liberal Whiggish writing as well as new conceptualizations of paternal authority and roles in domestic settings, showing how they came to influence depictions of fathers in Gothic and Jacobin fiction of the 1780s and 90s.