Dr Rama Venkatasawmy

Conjoint Lecturer

School of Design Communication and IT (Communication)

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  (http://ccmrc.eu/scientific-board/) 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 https://rowman.com/ISBN/978-0-7391-7622-1) and co-author of Sarawakiana series –The Traditional Kayan Wedding: Pelah Hawa (available at http://www.pustaka-sarawak.com/Pustaka-Sarawak/Sarawakiana/pelahhawa/about_authors.html).

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.

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

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.


  • Master of Educational Studies, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Arts (Communication Studies), Murdoch University
  • Bachelor of Arts (Communication Studies)(Honours), Murdoch University
  • PhD, Murdoch University


  • Australian Cinema
  • Communication Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • Film & Television Production
  • Film History
  • Film Studies
  • Film Theory
  • Hollywood Cinema
  • Indigenous Cultures of Borneo
  • Media & Communication Theory
  • Media Studies


  • African Languages, nec (Fluent)

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
190201 Cinema Studies 20
200199 Communication and Media Studies not elsewhere classified 50
190299 Film, Television and Digital Media not elsewhere classified 30

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Lecturer University of Newcastle
UoN Singapore Operation

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/01/2014 -  Membership - Communication and Media Research Group at The University of Newcastle Communication and Media Research Group at The University of Newcastle
1/01/2014 -  Membership - Communication and Media Research Center, Scientific Board Communication and Media Research Center, Scientific Board
1/01/2010 - 31/12/2010 Conference Chair - Borneo Research Council International Conference (2010) Borneo Research Council International Conference
1/08/2002 - 1/08/2010 Lecturer & Head of Department Curtin University of Technology



Year Award
2013 Vice-Chancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning
1995 Vice-Chancellor’s Commendation for Academic Excellence
Murdoch University

Research Award

Year Award
1997 Murdoch University Research Scholarship
Murdoch University
1997 Overseas Postgraduate Research Studentship
Murdoch University



Year Title / Rationale
2006 A Cultural Agenda for ASEAN Conference
Organisation: Union Network International (Media, Entertainment & Arts) Description: The Creative Industries and Employment: Quality, Opportunity and Livelihood – Towards the Creation of an ASEAN Creative Industries Academy?


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

Book (2 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2013 Venkatasawmy RC, The Digitization of Cinematic Visual Effects: Hollywood's Coming of Age, Lexington, Lanham, Maryland, 333 (2013) [A1]
2009 Abdul 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)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2009 Venkatasawmy 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]
1999 O'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)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2012 Venkatasawmy RC, 'The evolution of VFX-intensive filmmaking in 20th century Hollywood cinema: An historical overview', TMC Academic Journal, 6 17-31 (2012) [C1]
2001 Venkatasawmy 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]
1998 O'Regan T, Venkatasawmy RC, 'Only One Day at the Beach: Dark City and Australian Filmmaking', Metro, 16-28 (1998) [C1]
1998 O'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 journal article

Other (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
1999 O'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)

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

Dr Rama Venkatasawmy


Conjoint Lecturer
School of Design, Communication and IT
School of Design Communication and IT
Faculty of Science and Information Technology

Focus area


Contact Details

Email rama.venkatasawmy@newcastle.edu.au
Phone +65 6517 2654


Location University of Newcastle, Singapore