Wayne H Osborn


Tenure Line -- Assistant Professor


Communication, Culture, and Technology (CCT)
General profile




J.R. Osborn is a scholar and experimentalist of communication. His work explores media history, design, semiotics, communication technologies, and aesthetics with a regional focus of the Middle East and Africa. Dr. Osborn is currently engaged in a number of research projects across a variety of media:

• Text – His manuscript Letters of Light: Arabic Script in Calligraphy, Print, and Digital Design is scheduled for publication with Harvard University Press in 2014. The book is a cultural and technical study of Arabic script and typography.

• Video – He produced and edited “Glitter Dust: Finding Art in Dubai,” a documentary feature, which premiered at the 2012 Gulf Film Festival in the United Arab Emirates. The film combines HD video and animation to examine the contemporary art scene in Dubai.

• Interface Design – He designs, programs, and builds interactive “unmixing” terminals for the National Postal Museum and other Smithsonian institutions.

• Curatorial – He moderates the “Diagrammatica Project” as a study of communication and information design. The project collects significant diagrams as models of visual and spatial reasoning.

Dr. Osborn also teaches the Certificate in Digital Media Production summer program offered through Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies. His courses frequently combine hands-on production projects with theoretical and traditional scholarship. In the past, Professor Osborn has taught and studied in Jordan, Yemen, Turkey, Mexico, Zimbabwe, the U.A.E, and Switzerland.


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  • Ph.D. (2008) University of California San Diego, Communication
  • M.A. (2003) University of California San Diego, Communication
  • B.A. (1997) Grinnell College, Religious Studies


  • Arabic (speak, read)
  • French (read)
  • German (speak, read, write)
  • Turkish (speak, read)

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