Cameron L. White
Writer | Academic | Translator
A doctoral student in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan, I research the intersection between moving images and language. I am interested in the aural and written mediation of Sinitic languages in multimedia texts and larger historical questions surrounding East Asian language politics and translation. My work focuses on the interaction between dialogue and subtitles in Hong Kong film and TV over the past fifty years, as well as resonances in media produced in mainland China and Taiwan.
I am further interested in the relationship between memory and mediation, particularly the contemporary consumption of works produced during Hong Kong’s British colonial period. My article “Pixels, Police and Batons: Hong Kong Cinema, Digital Media, the 2019 Protests, and Beyond” was published by Film Quarterly in 2021 and examines the impact of online videos from the 2019 Hong Kong protests on the longstanding cops-and-robbers genre (警匪片). Lately, I have been examining the history of Radio Television Hong Kong and its digital present. Mediated recollections of Hong Kong in other screen cultures, particularly that of South Korea, also figure into my work.
Just as languages plays a large role in my research, it crosses over into my pedagogical interests. I am a huge proponent of making the learning of Sinitic languages more accessible, especially when it comes to less commonly taught varieties. I co-host the podcast Chatty Cantonese with Raymond Pai (University of British Columbia), which features interviews with students, teachers, and researchers of Cantonese, and through my website CantoBlog, I try to connect prospective learners of Cantonese with various study tools.
My non-academic writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Quartz, and the Los Angeles Review of Books China Channel. Additionally, I help run the Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop in Hong Kong Studies, which seeks to equip graduate students with greater understanding of scholarly conversations in a growing field.