The Global White Snake as Digital Activist Project

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1 Scopus citations


There is a long oral tradition and written record for the legend of the White Snake. As a woman, her “original sin” is being a snake. She is a snake who has cultivated herself for hundreds, if not thousands, of years to attain the form of a beautiful woman. Living as a resident “alien” (yilei) in the “Human Realm” (renjian), the White Snake has always been treated with suspicion, fear, exclusion, and violent suppression/exorcism. The White Snake is an immigrant to the human world, whose serpentine identity made her a “resident alien,” the legal category given to immigrants in the United States before they receive their “Green Card” and become a “permanent resident.” The implication of being a snake woman in the human world took on new meanings when the COVID-19 pandemic worsened the existing xenophobia, fear, and suspicion toward minority populations in the contemporary United States and throughout the world. Inspired by the Chinese White Snake legend, the three Anglophone opera, film, and stage projects from Cerise Lim Jacobs, Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri, and Mary Zimmerman, energetically engage with issues relevant to minority activism in the United States and more broadly, through digital media and digital platforms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2096-4374(2021)01-0109-16
Pages (from-to)109-124
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Foreign Languages and Cultures
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Hunan Normal University Press. All rights reserved.


  • Anglophone
  • Digital activism
  • Global
  • Minority representation
  • United States
  • White Snake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Linguistics and Language


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