Staff Profile


Career Summary


Dr Rama Venkatasawmy is a Lecturer in the Discipline of Communication and Media. He currently teaches in the Bachelor of Communication program. He is the recipient of a ‘Vice-Chancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning’. He previously taught film/television production courses in the Mass Communication program at Curtin University’s Malaysian campus where he co-designed the Borneo Studies major and was also the founding Head of the Department of Mass Communication. He has also taught at Murdoch University in Australia and at the University of Mauritius. He has additionally worked as a copywriter in the advertising industry, as well as undertaken media production-related consultancies for various public and private organizations and institutions internationally. He has presented papers at various conferences and in 2010 he was co-Chair of the 10th biennial Borneo Research Council International Conference. He is currently a member of the Scientific Board of the Communication and Media Research Center  ("></a>) as well as an Editorial and Review Board Member for Asian Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences (online). His multi-disciplinary research and publications have so far addressed Australian cinema, Hollywood cinema and Borneo indigenous cultures. He is the author of The Digitization of Cinematic Visual Effects: Hollywood’s Coming of Age (available at and co-author of Sarawakiana series –The Traditional Kayan Wedding: Pelah Hawa (available at"></a>).</p>


  • Master of Educational Studies, University of Newcastle, 11/07/2014
  • Bachelor of Arts (Communication Studies)(Honours), Murdoch University, 29/01/1997
  • Bachelor of Arts (Communication Studies), Murdoch University, 24/01/1996
  • PhD, Murdoch University, 03/12/2010


Research keywords

  • Australian Cinema
  • Film History
  • Film Theory
  • Hollywood Cinema
  • Indigenous Cultures of Borneo
  • Media & Communication Theory

Research expertise

Dr Rama Venkatasawmy's early research publications related specifically to Australian cinema and culture, as a result of writing an Honours thesis on Australian cinema as well as teaching an undergraduate Australian cinema course. As a postgraduate, his research shifted to film history and theory, especially in the context of Hollywood cinema, while addressing the digitization of visual effects and of filmmaking. And during some years spent in Borneo, he additionally developed an anthropologically-oriented interest in indigenous cultural heritage and preservation. While maintaining his earlier research interests, Dr Rama Venkatasawmy has more recently been looking into certain aspects of communication and media in the Australian and Asian contexts.


  • African Languages, Nec
  • English
  • French

Fields of Research

200100Communication And Media Studies50
190200Film, Television And Digital Media30
190201Cinema Studies20


Committee/Associations (relevant to research).

  • Member - Communication and Media Research Center, Scientific Board
  • Member - Communication and Media Research Group at The University of Newcastle

Conference Chair

  • Borneo Research Council International Conference (2010)



2013Vice-Chancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning
The University of Newcastle (Australia)
Contributions to Teaching & Learning
1995Vice-Chancellor’s Commendation for Academic Excellence
Murdoch University (Australia)
Academic Excellence

Research Award.

1997Murdoch University Research Scholarship
Murdoch University (Australia)
Postgraduate Scholarship
1997Overseas Postgraduate Research Studentship
Murdoch University (Australia)
Postgraduate scholarship


A Cultural Agenda for ASEAN Conference
Union Network International (Media, Entertainment & Arts), Malaysia (Invited Presenter)


Administrative expertise

Dr Rama Venkatasawmy established and was the founding head of the Department of Mass Communication at the Malaysian campus of Curtin University of Technology where he taught for many years prior to joining The University of Newcastle. That position required the coordination and management of an undergraduate and a pre-university communication program as well as of staff and other resources involved in the teaching of these programs.


Teaching keywords

  • Communication Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • Film & Television Production
  • Film Studies
  • Media Studies

Teaching expertise

The University of Newcastle is the fourth institution of higher education at which Dr. Rama Venkatasawmy is teaching in a Communication program. Courses that he has taught over the years at various university campuses include:

Communication, Creativity and Cultural Production

Media, Law, Ethics

Introduction to Professional Writing

Introduction to Communication Theory

Documentary Workshop

History of Screen Language

Introduction to Media & Communication Studies

Production – Corporate Documentary

Screenwriting – Corporate Documentary

Screen Production Techniques

Australian Cinema

Television & Popular Culture

Political and Sociological Theories of the Media


Highlighted Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

2013Venkatasawmy RC, The Digitization of Cinematic Visual Effects: Hollywood's Coming of Age, Lexington, Lanham, Maryland, 333 (2013) [A1]


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Click on a category title below to expand the list of citations for that specific category.

Book (2 outputs)

2013Venkatasawmy RC, The Digitization of Cinematic Visual Effects: Hollywood's Coming of Age, Lexington, Lanham, Maryland, 333 (2013) [A1]
2009Abdul Ghani BA, Terry JD, Venkatasawmy RC, Sarawak Kayan Culture - Traditional Kayan wedding: Pelah Hawa, Pustaka Negeri Sarawak, Kuching, Sarawak Malaysia, 30 (2009) [A2]

Chapter (2 outputs)

2009Venkatasawmy RC, 'Theorising the Hybridity of "Australianness" in Australian Cinema', Creative Nation: Australian Cinema and Cultural Studies Reader, SSS Publications, New Delhi, India 233-252 (2009) [B1]
1999O'Regan T, Venkatasawmy RC, 'A Tale of Two Cities - Dark City and Babe: Pig in the City', Twin Peeks: Australian and New Zealand Feature Films, Damned Publishing, Melbourne, Victoria Australia 187-203 (1999) [B1]

Journal article (4 outputs)

2012Venkatasawmy RC, 'The evolution of VFX-intensive filmmaking in 20th century Hollywood cinema: An historical overview', TMC Academic Journal, 6 17-31 (2012) [C1]
2001Venkatasawmy RC, Simpson C, Visosevich T, 'From Sand to Bitumen, From Bushrangers to "Bogans": Mapping the Australian Road Movie', Journal of Australian Studies, 75-84 (2001) [C1]
1998O'Regan T, Venkatasawmy RC, 'Only One Day at the Beach: Dark City and Australian Filmmaking', Metro, 16-28 (1998) [C1]
1998O'Regan T, Venkatasawmy RC, 'I Make Films And It's Up To Other People To Pigeon-Hole Them: An Interview with Alex Proyas', Metro, 29-33 (1998) [C1]
Show 1 more

Other (1 outputs)

1999O'Regan T, Venkatasawmy RC, 'Le Cinéma Australien Face au Nouveau Millénaire', ( pp.20-27). Montreal, Quebec Canada: Association des Cinemas Paralleles du Quebec (1999) [O1]

Thesis / Dissertation (1 outputs)

2010Venkatasawmy RC, The Hollywood Cinema Industry's Coming of Digital Age: the Digitisation of Visual Effects, 1977-1999, Murdoch University (2010) [T1]

Grants and Funding

No funding.


Research Supervision

Number of current supervisions0

No Supervisions.


Dr Rama Venkatasawmy

Work Phone+65 6517 2654
PositionConjoint Lecturer
School of Design, Communication and IT
School of Design Communication and IT
Faculty of Science and Information Technology
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Focus AreaCommunication
University of Newcastle, Singapore