I am a scholar and an artist and have worked at universities in Canada and Britain. My BA and MA degrees are from Canadian universities and I did my PhD in Britain at the University of Leeds, where I taught and then later worked between 2017 and 2020.
My appointment at Western began in July 2020 and situates me between FIMS and the new Creative Arts and Production module (CAP), currently in development.This academic year I am teaching three courses for CAP -- Introduction to Creative Arts, Ceativity in the 21st Century, and Image, Sound, Text I (the latter co-taught with Sally Kewayosh and Joanna Devereux) -- and one FIMS course -- MIT 1025: First Year Foundations in MIT.
My principal research expertise and publications have focused on the late British playwright Harold Pinter, with special emphasis on his political drama and activism and the affective dimension of his work in those two arenas. More recently my research and publications have considered the stakes for citizen subjectivity under contemporary capitalism, the relationship between artistic influence and originality, and the politics of memory.
My work in these areas informs my teaching and research at Western: In addition to my design and delivery of the courses for CAP, I have designed and taught a course for the Digital Certificate and an MIT special topics course entitled The Politics of Memory: Media, Affect, Activism. This summer and going forward, I am overseeing a research project entitled Forest City Memories. This project, supported by the FIMS USRI and Initiatives funding schemes, examines how the City of London constructs its past across the civic landscape and, relatedly, how that affects the way both residents and visitors might engage with and understand London. Forest City Memories has employed two student research interns and features a geospatial hub, an open access database which plots and and offers a critical re-narration of numerous memorials and commemorative sites around London.
My focus as a scholar and the way I go about teaching and researching are informed by my diverse background in the arts. I have worked as a professional musician, performing; recording; composing; and teaching, and continue to perform with bands and to compose original music. I have also worked in show production as a carpenter and audio technician and I have experience as an actor, creative writer, and dramaturg.
Chiasson, B. (2022), "Subjectivity in Dennis Kelly's Drama: Slouching towards Neoliberalism." In The Plays of Dennis Kelly. Manchester: Manchester UP, forthcoming summer 2022.
Chiasson, B., and C. Fallow, eds (2021), Harold Pinter: Stages, Networks, Collaborations, London: Bloomsbury.
Chiasson, B. (2021), "Pinter’s Modernism(s) Revisited: A Drama Reliant upon Prose." In Harold Pinter: Stages, Networks, Collaborations, B. Chiasson and C. Fallow, eds, 15-41, London: Bloomsbury.
___ (2020), "Harold Pinter's Remembrance of Things Political: What Memory Meant for the Citizen." The Harold Pinter Review: Essays on Contemporary Drama 4.1 (May): 1-19.
___ (2019), Review of W. Baker Pinter’s World: Relationships, Obsessions, and Artistic Endeavors, Modern Drama 62(3): 366-68. DOI: 10.3138/md.62.3.br3.
___ (2018), "Simon Stephens, Birdland, and a Few Affects of Neoliberalization." Journal of Contemporary Drama in English 6.2: 331-57. DOI: 10.1515/jcde-2018-0029.
___ (2017), The Late Harold Pinter: Political Dramatist, Poet and Activist, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
___ (2017), Review of M. Wickstrom Performance in the Blockades of Neoliberalism: Thinking the Political Anew, Performing Ethos: International Journal of Ethics in Theatre & Performance 7.1 (Oct.): 48-50.
___ (2014), "Pinter's Political Dramas: Staging Neoliberal Discourse and Authoritarianism." In M. Taylor-Batty's The Theatre of Harold Pinter, 249-67, London: Bloomsbury. DOI: 10.5040/9781408175293.
___ (2013), "Harold Pinter's 'More Precisely Political' Dramas, or a Post-1983 Economy of Affect." Modern Drama 56.1: 80-101. DOI: 10.1353/mdr.2013.0007.
___ (2009), "(Re)Thinking Harold Pinter’s Comedy of Menace." In M. Brewer, ed, Harold Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter, 31-54, Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi. DOI: 10.1163/9789042028920_004.