Dr Rama Venkatasawmy

Dr Rama Venkatasawmy

Conjoint Senior Lecturer

School of Creative Industries (Communication)

Career Summary


Dr Rama Venkatasawmy is a Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Communication and Media and he currently teaches in the Bachelor of Communication program.

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. In 2015, he was the Chair of the inaugural 'Media & Journalism' judging panel for The Undergraduate Awards 2015.

Dr Rama Venkatasawmy is currently a member of the Communication and Media Research group in the Hunter Creative Industries and Technology (HCIT) Research Centre, a member of the Mass Media and Communications Research Unit of the Athens Institute for Education and Research (http://www.atiner.gr), 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 Creativity and Cultural Production, Big Data in Media and Communication Education, Digital Visual Effects, Hollywood cinema, Australian 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. His research later 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 creativity and television/film production as well as exploring the implications of Big Data in professional Media and Communication practice.

Teaching Expertise

Dr Rama Venkatasawmy is the recipient of:

* a 'Vice-Chancellor's Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning' from The University of Newcastle, Australia.

* an 'Excellence in Teaching Award' from The University of Newcastle, Singapore.

The University of Newcastle is the fourth institution of higher education at which Dr. Rama Venkatasawmy is teaching in a Media and Communication program. Courses that he has taught over the years at various university campuses include: Communication, Creativity & Cultural Production; Media, Law, Ethics; Professional Writing; Communication Theory; Documentary Workshop; History of Screen Language; Media & Communication Studies; Corporate Documentary Screenwriting; Corporate Documentary Production; Screen Production Techniques; Australian Cinema; Television & Popular Culture; Political & Sociological Theories of the Media.

Administrative Expertise

Dr Rama Venkatasawmy currently coordinates the Bachelor of Communication program at The University of Newcastle, Singapore. He preciously 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.


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


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


  • French (Fluent)
  • African Languages, nec (Fluent)
  • English (Mother)

Fields of Research

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

Professional Experience

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/01/2010 - 31/12/2010 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


Dates Title Organisation / Department
23/01/2017 -  Member - Athens Institute for Education and Research Athens Institute for Education and Research
Mass Media & Communications Research Unit
1/01/2014 -  Member - Communication and Media Research Group at The University of Newcastle Communication and Media Research Group at The University of Newcastle
1/01/2014 -  Member - Communication and Media Research Center, Scientific Board Communication and Media Research Center, Scientific Board

Professional appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/06/2015 - 30/11/2015 Chair - “Media & Journalism” panel for The Undergraduate Awards 2015 The Undergraduate Awards
Chair of "Media & Journalism" panel



Year Award
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

Teaching Award

Year Award
2015 Excellence in Teaching Award
The University of Newcastle, Singapore
2013 Vice-Chancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning
The University of Newcastle



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?


Code Course Role Duration
CMNS 1234 Introduction to Communication Theory
The University of Newcastle - Faculty of Science and IT
Lecturer & Tutor 1/08/2012 - 15/12/2017
CMNS 3310 Creativity & Cultural Production
The University of Newcastle - Faculty of Science and IT
Lecturer & Tutor 1/05/2012 - 1/08/2017
CMNS1090 Introduction to Professional Writing
The University of Newcastle - Faculty of Science and IT
Lecturer & Tutor 1/09/2011 - 15/12/2017
CMNS 2720 Media, Law, Ethics
The University of Newcastle - Faculty of Science and IT
Lecturer & Tutor 1/09/2011 - 1/08/2017


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

(14 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Venkatasawmy R, 'Creating the Dragon', Film International, 15 34-45 (2017)
DOI 10.1386/fiin.15.2.34_1
2016 Venkatasawmy R, 'Crisis in the Digital Visual Effects Industry and Hollywood Cinema', Film International, 14 6-23 (2016) [C1]
DOI 10.1386/fiin.14.1.6_1
2015 Venkatasawmy RC, 'The Americanization of English Soccer: A Bird¿s Eye View', AMERICANA E-Journal of American Studies in Hungary, 11 (2015)
2015 Venkatasawmy RC, 'Ethnic Conflict in Africa: A Short Critical Discussion', Transcience : a Journal of Global Studies, 6 26-37 (2015) [C1]
2013 Venkatasawmy RC, The Digitization of Cinematic Visual Effects: Hollywood's Coming of Age, Lexington, Lanham, Maryland, 333 (2013) [A1]
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]
2010 Venkatasawmy RC, The Hollywood Cinema Industry's Coming of Digital Age: the Digitisation of Visual Effects, 1977-1999, Murdoch University (2010) [T1]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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Research Collaborations

The map is a representation of a researchers co-authorship with collaborators across the globe. The map displays the number of publications against a country, where there is at least one co-author based in that country. Data is sourced from the University of Newcastle research publication management system (NURO) and may not fully represent the authors complete body of work.

Country Count of Publications
Singapore 1

Dr Rama Venkatasawmy


Conjoint Senior Lecturer
School of Creative Industries
Faculty of Education and Arts

Focus area


Contact Details

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


Building Hunter Building
Location University of Newcastle, Singapore