NewsroomStudy at DITResearchIndustry and InnovationLibraryServices and FacilitiesFaculties and Schools
no file no file no file no file no file no file

Dr Rashmi Sawhney

Dr Rashmi Sawhney

MA Cultural Studies (2003, University of Limerick)
PhD Film and Cultural Studies (2006, University of Limerick)

P: +353-1-4023108
Campus: Aungier Street

Rashmi Sawhney is Lecturer in Visual Cultural Studies in the School of Media, DIT. She studied at Fergusson College, Pune and the University of Bombay before joining the Times of India Group in 1999. She has lived in Ireland since 2002, where she did her PhD in Film and Cultural Studies at the University of Limerick (2006), while teaching a wide range of undergraduate courses in the Department of Languages and Cultural Studies. Since 2007 she has been teaching courses in Film, Media and Cultural Studies at DIT and is core faculty on the taught doctoral programme in ‘Cultural Studies and Social Documentary Practice’ at the Centre for Transcultural Research and Media Practice. She has been Adjunct Lecturer since 2008 on the MPhil Programme in Race, Ethnicity and Conflict at Trinity College Dublin, where she co-teaches (with Dr. Alan Grossman) a course on ‘Visual Culture’. Prior to taking up a post at DIT she taught at the School of Drama, Film and Music at Trinity College, Dublin, where she introduced a course on ‘Indian Cinema’ .  Through FOMACS (Forum and Migration and Communications, - a CTMP-based public media project - she organised a series of film screenings in 2008-9 entitled Moving Worlds: Cinemas of Migration, and in 2009-10, a series of public seminars held at the Irish Film Institute entitled Negotiated Identities, Histories and Public Cultures. She has organized public seminars in association with the Indian Film Festival of Ireland in 2010 and 2011 ( as well as panels at international conferences.


Rashmi Sawhney is on Leave of Absence from March 2012- August 2014. She is based with the India Foundation for the Arts in Bangalore in this duration and is contactable at

Teaching and Research Supervision

Currently teaches the following courses:

Cultural and Critical Theory (PhD programme, CTMP)

Visual Research Methods (BA Photography honours)

Cinema and Modernity (BA Media Arts)

Transnational Cinema (BA Media arts)

Courses taught previously include: Visual Studies (BA Photography); Network Societies (BA Media Arts); Dissertation Preparation (MAJ); Visual Culture: From Modernity to Diversity (MPhil, Sociology, TCD and PhD, CTMP); Indian Cinema (BA in Film Studies, TCD); Comparative Literature (BA in Languages and Cultural Studies, UL).

Ongoing Postgraduate Supervision

‘Indian Cinema in Ireland: Film as a Site of Cultural Mediation’ (PhD, Giovanna Rampazzo)

‘Global Cultural Flows on Screen: Transnational Migration and the Immigrant Subject in Contemporary Irish Filmmaking’ (PhD, Agnes Kakasi)

‘A Sikh Face in Ireland’ (MPhil, Satwinder Singh)

In addition she has supervised several BA and MA dissertations in the areas of film, media, cultural studies and postcolonial studies and is especially interested in supervising interdisciplinary research on film, gender, migration, and visual anthropology in the future.


Her research falls within the areas of Film and Visual Studies, particularly in relation to postcolonial and South Asian contexts. She is currently working on a book-length manuscript on Indian women filmmakers (provisionally titled A Different Picture: Indian Women’s Cinema) along with a chapter on women scriptwriters in Indian cinema for an edited international anthology. She has also started studying the anthropological gaze in Indian cinema, particularly with reference to questions of representation and social justice, and within this framework is interested in the representation of marginalised communities as well as approaches to film as a medium of social mobilization in an international context.

Selected Publications

2011 (and forthcoming)

'The Virtual Reality of Indian Cinema: Spectatorship as Enactment of "Becoming Modern"', Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies (special issue on film, ed. Lynne Pierce, forthcoming).

'From Kolkata to Dublin via Kabul: Tagore's Internationalism and Cinema', Silhouette, vol 9, no 3. Available online at


'Through the Lens of A "Branded Criminal": the Politics of Marginal Cinema in India' in South Asian Media Culture: Audiences, Reception, Contexts (Ed. Banaji). London: Anthem Press, pp 201-220.

'Cinema and the Adivasis of India', Moving Wor/ds: Chotro - Adivasi Voices and Stories, 9 (1): 102-115.

‘Imagining an Adivasi Cinema: Exploratory Notes' in Indigeneity: Culture and Representation (Eds. Devy, Davis and Chakravarty). New Delhi: Orient BlackSwan, pp. 378-93.

‘Apotheosis or Apparition: Bombay and the Village in 1990s Women’s Cinema’, Film Studies, Winter (11): 1-13.

‘Sectarian Violence in Contemporary Indian Cinema: Aesthetics of Dev and Mr and Mrs Iyer’ in John Hill and Kevin Rockett (eds.) Studies in Irish Cinema: National Cinemas and World Cinema, vol iii. Dublin: Four Courts Press, pp. 93-104.

‘Postmodernism and the Political Aesthetics of Time: an Indian Perspective’, LITTCRIT, June, 31(1): 27-36.

‘Semiotics, Structuralism and Post-Structuralism: Eastern Literary Approaches’, Digital Workshop Resource Pack; Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad.

‘Dialectics of Advertising: the Search for an Indian Tradition’, Communications Review: the Language of Enquiry, 1(1): 37-45.

Conference Papers and Seminars

2011 (and forthcoming)

'No longer "not-yet"? New Indian Cinema, now and then', What's New? The Changing Face of Indian Cinema, University of Westminster, London, 7-9 July.

'Bachao! Melodrama, Violence and the Female Body in Hindi Cinema', The Body in the Cinemas of South Asia, Centre for Oriental Studies, Vilnius University, Lithuania, 29 June - 2 July

'Visualising Migration: Narratives From the East and West', Mobility and Fantasy in Visual Culture, Bahçesehir University, Istanbul, 20-21 May.

'Women Undoing "National" Histories Through Regional Cinema: A 1980s Perspective on Gender and Reform in Colonial India', Doing Women's Film History, University of Sunderland, UK, 13-15 April.


‘Cinematic Cities’, School of Drama, Film and Music Seminar Series, Trintiy College Dublin, 27 October

‘Approaches to Film Studies’ (a series of four lectures), Central University of Rajasthan, August

‘Outside the West: Articulating a Different Modernity in Popular Indian Cinema’, Centre for Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, August.

'Beyond Reverse Ethnography and Self-Representation: Transforming Social Perceptions Through Cinema', 21st European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies (ECMSAS), Bonn, Germany (26-29 July 2010)

'Armchair Activists Combat Fascist Politics in Cyberspace: Khans and Other "Outsiders" in Mumbai', IAMCR 2010, Braga, Portugal (18-22 July 2010).


'Bombay to Delhi: Relocating the Language of Modernity in Indian Cinema', Glocal Imaginaries, University of Lancaster and Manchester (September).

'Gender and Identity in Indian Cinema', Dept. of English, Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda (August, Invited Speaker, DRS Seminar Series on Identity).

'Manorama to Moore Street Masala: Ireland's Own "Bollyworld'?', Indian Cinema Circuits: Diasporas and Beyond, CREAM, University of Westminster and SOAS, London (June).

‘On Telling a Nomad's Story Through Film’, Chotro, Adivasi Academy, Tejgadh, Gujarat, India (January).

‘Visualising Marginalised Cultures’, Chotro, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Performing Arts and Bhasha Research and Publication Centre, New Delhi, India.

‘Cinema, History, Nation’, India and Ireland: Colonialism, Nationalism, Modernities, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

‘Sexual Politics of the Tradition-Modernity Dialogue in Sai Paranjpye’s Disha and Aruna Raje’s Rihayee’, Visualizing the City, Centre for Screen Studies, University of Manchester, UK.

‘Violence in Contemporary Indian Cinema: Aesthetic Traditions of Dev and Mr and Mrs Iyer’, Irish Postgraduate Film Research Seminar, Trinity College, Dublin.

‘Women’s Cinema in India: Methodological Considerations’, Researching National and Regional Film and Television, University of Ulster, Portrush.

‘Two Readings of Time: Rudaali’, Postmodernism: The Global Moment, Kogakuin University, Tokyo.

‘Semiotics, Structuralism and Post-Structuralism: The Approach Through Literature in Eastern and Western Perspectives’ (joint presentation with Dr. Brian Coates), Semiotics Workshop, Mudra Institute of Communications, Mumbai, India.

top ^