Journal of Romance Studies

Visualizing the Chinese threat

L’Arrivo di Wang as an ethnic allegory

Journal of Romance Studies (2018), 18, (1), 63–80.

Abstract

Through the lens of Julia Kristeva’s and Barbara Creed’s theories of the horror genre and abjection, this article investigates how the Manetti Brothers’ science fiction horror movie L’Arrivo di Wang builds an ethnic allegory and xenophobic discourse upon its characterization of, and treatment for, the Chinese-alien Wang. This article shows how the Manetti Brothers visualize a perceived Chinese threat in the computer-graphic figure of Wang whose assigned characteristics echo certain recurrent and readily accepted negative clichés in Italian representations of the Chinese people over the past hundred years. This article also reveals how the movie conveys a strong xenophobic message and promotes social exclusion by targeting the alien Wang, and the Chinese people it represents, as a source of abjection.

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Author details

Liu, Xin