Rashmi Devi Sawhney

Associate Arts Professor of Film and New Media Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi
Education: BA Fergusson College, Pune; MA University of Limerick, Ireland; PhD University of Limerick, Ireland

Research Areas: Cinema studies, visual arts, curatorial practice, indigenous film and media production, South Asia, archives, science fiction

Rashmi Devi Sawhney is a film, media, and cultural theorist, with over 15 years of experience working in leading institutions like Trinity College (Dublin), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU, New Delhi), and India Foundation for the Arts (IFA, Bangalore). She lived in Ireland for 11 years, where she completed her Ph.D. in Film and Cultural Studies and held a tenured Lecturership at the Dublin Technological University. 

In 2012, she relocated to India to get more time in the field to develop her research on South Asia and was National Head of the Arts Practice and Curatorship Programmes at India Foundation for the Arts. In 2014, she joined the School of Arts and Aesthetics at JNU as Associate Professor, and subsequently, the Srishti-Manipal Institute of Art, Design and Technology, to set up an MA in Visual Aesthetics and Curatorial Practice. At Christ University, Bangalore, where she was before joining NYUAD, she was program head for the MA and PhD programs in Cultural Studies, and convenor of the Cultural Studies Cell.

Her work is based in interdisciplinary approaches to cinema, media, visual arts, and cultural practices, and committed to developing practice-based research and teaching. As part of her interest in practice, she has extended her research output beyond academic papers and publications, to include curatorial projects and public outreach events. In 2015 she co-founded with Lucia Imaz King (London, UK), VisionMix, an international platform for artists, filmmakers, curators, and researchers, which has produced exhibitions, workshops, and publications. Among these are ‘Future Orbits’ held in 2017 as a collateral of the Kochi-Muziris biennial, ‘Loss and Transience’ (2021) at the Hong-Gah Museum, Taipei, and a special issue of MIRAJ (Intellect, UK) titled Artists' Moving Images: South Asian Trajectories (2018). 

She has published widely in international journals and anthologies and has edited special journal issues such as: "Women at Work: the Cultural and Creative Industries" (Studies in South Asian Film and Media, vol 11, 2019), "South Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy" (Studies in South Asian Film and Media, vol 6:2, 2014), and "A 100 years of Indian Cinema" (Art Connect, Vol 7:1, 2013). Her latest book, The Vanishing Point: Moving Images After Video was published in 2022 by Tulika Press (global distribution Columbia University Press).

She is a Trustee of the Bhasha Research and Publication Centre, and a Member of the Advisory Council of the Adivasi Academy (Institute of Indigenous Cultures), where she is a founding member of the Adivasi Film Archive.

Courses Taught