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Liam Burke

Senior Lecturer - Media Studies, Discipline Leader - Media, Coordinator - Cinema and Screen Studies


Dr Liam Burke lectures and researches in Media and Communications in the Faculty of Health, Arts and Design at Swinburne University of Technology, where he also serves as Discipline Leader of Media, and Coordinator of the Cinema and Screen Studies Major.

Liam’s research areas include cinema, comics, adaptation studies, and new media & migration. He is a chief investigator on the ARC Linkage grant funded project Superheroes & Me. His most recent book, The Comic Book Film Adaptation: Exploring Modern Hollywood’s Leading Genre, was published in May by the leading press in comics scholarship, the University Press of Mississippi. This is the first book-length study of a group of films that have dominated mainstream cinema for over a decade, with Eisner Award-winning writer Mark Waid commenting, "There is no better, smarter examination of the relationship between comics and film". Other academic publications include the edited collection Fan Phenomena Batman, the sole author book Superhero Movies, chapters in International Westerns and Comics through Time, and articles in the peer-reviewed journals Participations, Adaptation, SCAN, and Estudios Irlandeses. Liam has also presented at more than 20 international conferences and regularly contributes to The Conversation, The Irish Times, and Film Ireland, as well as national broadcasters in Australia and Ireland.

Liam was the lead researcher and programmer of the inaugural John Ford Ireland Film Symposium, a major four-day event for which he organised gala screenings, workshops, and guest sessions with academics and filmmakers such as Joe McBride, Peter Bogdanovich, and John Boorman. Liam recently established the cross-discipline research project, New Media, Ageing, and Migration, which examines how older Irish migrants in Melbourne make use of social media. An early output of the research, the documentary short film @HOME, has been screened at international film festivals.

Liam successfully spearheaded the introduction of Swinburne’s first Cinema and Screen Studies Major and Minor, and as Media Discipline leader led the reorganisation of the long-standing media offerings around a Media Industries model. Last year Liam received a FHAD Prize for Innovation and Excellence in Learning, Teaching, and Assessment for “developing a participatory approach to Screen Studies curriculum design”. Liam is currently supervising four PhD students. Topics include Australian Film Distribution, Videogames and Narratology, and Australian Crime Fiction.

Prior to taking up his role at Swinburne, Liam was the BA with Film Studies Coordinator at the Huston School of Film & Digital Media (National University of Ireland, Galway). Before entering academia, Liam worked for a number of arts organisations including the Galway Film Fleadh, Cork Film Festival, and the Irish Film and Television Academy.

Research interests

Cinema; Comic Books; Television; Adaptation; Superheroes; Westerns; John Ford; Hollywood Cinema; Irish Culture; Animation; Popular Culture and Fans

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Coordinating Supervisor.


  • 2014, Swinburne, Faculty of Health, Arts, and Design’s Prize for Innovation and Excellence in Learning, Teaching, and Assessment , Swinburne University of Technology


Also published as: Burke, Liam; Burke, L.; Burke, William; Burke, W.
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Recent research grants awarded

  • 2015: Superheroes: Creative Force, Cultural Zeitgeist and Transmedia PhenomenonSuperheroes: Melbourne Winter Masterpiece *; ARC Linkage Projects Scheme

* Chief Investigator

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