The CEA CAPA Faculty Spotlight is a monthly series highlighting the individuals who teach courses and provide academic instruction at our global education centers in different study abroad locations across the world. Their teaching leaves a mark on students who study abroad. This month, we meet Dr. Richard James Allen from our Sydney location.
Q: WHICH COURSE(S) DO YOU TEACH AT CEA CAPA?
Dr. Allen: I teach two courses at CEA CAPA Sydney: Australian Cinema: Representation and Learning and Writing the Global City: Sydney.
Q: WHAT ARE YOUR ACADEMIC INTERESTS AND FOCUS?
Dr. Allen: Here is a list:
International frameworks for Australian creativity
Relationships between poetry and spirituality
Yoga as embodied philosophy
Screendance as an artistic medium
The history and practice of different styles of acting
Synthesizing the techniques of dancers and actors to create emotionally expressive, physically articulate, three-dimensional performances
Reevaluating the role of women in the history of cinema
Archiving as long tail distribution
Q: WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL HIGHLIGHTS?
Dr. Allen: Some highlights include:
The publication of 13 books of poetry, fiction, and performance texts, including my most recent poetry book, “Text Messages from the Universe,” supported in part by a CAPA Faculty Development Grant
The creation of multiple films, which have received over 100 awards or nominations, and screened at well over 300 international film festivals
The touring of live poetry, dance, theatre, and performance to venues on three continents
The collection of poetry, dance, and film work by multiple archives around the world
For further information, please see the website for The Physical TV Company.
Q: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TEACHING FOR CEA CAPA?
Dr. Allen: Since 2014.
Q: PLEASE SHARE SOMETHING UNIQUE ABOUT YOUR CLASS OR ACADEMIC DISCIPLINE
Dr. Allen: I am interested in encouraging students, in film, to think for themselves, and in writing, to find their own voices.
Q: WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT TEACHING STUDY ABROAD STUDENTS?
Dr. Allen: The opportunity to help students reflect on their unconscious assumptions and, in so doing, to become more mature, self-confident, and independent thinkers.
About Dr. Richard James Allen
Richard James Allen (pronouns: he/him), is an Australian writer, director, and actor, born in Kempsey, New South Wales, on the unceded lands of the Dunghutti People. He now lives on the lands of the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation, in Redfern, a center of Indigenous migration and a hub of Aboriginal activism for many years.
Richard James Allen is a director, with Karen Pearlman, of the critically acclaimed Physical TV Company. Based in Sydney, Australia, they create documentaries, dramas, and dance films informed by scholarly research into the history and the future potential of the cinematic medium. Richard’s films have been commissioned or purchased for multiple broadcasts by ABC and SBS-TV, and been picked up for broadcast in China, Europe, and on cable TV in the US. His productions have traveled to over 300 film festivals on six continents, including the most selective dance film festivals in the world. They have garnered well over 100 awards or nominations, many have attracted grant funding or support through government or philanthropic arts funding bodies, and a number have been added to the collections of 10 major film archives around the world. As a producer, he has been nominated for an AACTA award, and won Dendy, St Kilda, Brisbane, and ATOM awards, amongst others.
Recent films he has written and directed include: the short, Digital Afterlives (critically compared to Walt Disney’s masterpiece Fantasia), and the feature, Text Messages from the Universe, which have won twelve awards.
Richard was a Finalist for Lead Performance at the Nightmares Film Festival, Columbus, Ohio, USA, in 2021, for his portrayal of Hans in the psychological thriller Bloodshot Heart. His performing career as an actor, dancer and poet has taken him physically to hundreds of national and international theatrical venues, and virtually to film festival and television screens in over 30 countries around the world.
In addition to his creativity as a producer, director, writer, actor, and dancer, Richard is an acclaimed Australian poet. His latest book, Text Messages from the Universe (Flying Island Books), was launched in 2023. His novel, More Lies, published by Interactive Press in 2021, was, in an earlier incarnation, shortlisted for the Griffin Award for New Australian Playwriting.
Richard has a track record for innovative adaptations and interactions of poetry and other media, including collaborations with artists in dance, film, theatre, music, and a range of digital platforms. A First-Class Honours graduate from Sydney University, he won the Chancellor’s Award for best doctoral thesis at the University of Technology, Sydney. He has taught for multiple tertiary institutions, including AFTRS, NIDA, SFS, ACPE, AMPA, CAPA, WSU.
Richard’s books are also available for purchase around the world, including some of his most recent works:
And Karen Pearlman’s multi-award-winning Soviet Women Filmmakers Trilogy, which he produced, can now be streamed globally:
For more information, please visit the website of The Physical TV Company.