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J.R. Osborn

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 in production and under contract. 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 that elucidate contemporary African artworks. This work contributes to an ongoing "African Art Reframed" research project. 

• 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 co-directs Georgetown's Technology Design Studio. 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. 


Fists touching with flags painted on them
This documentary explores the personal story of the triumphs and tragedies that come with revolution.
I started a personal project called 'Harmless Colors' to create simple colorful sentences on white walls of different public corridors.
Asiafest at Georgetown
This documentary video is about students learning Chinese at Georgetown.
The Art and Science of Dirt
This film observes what dirt creates and brings to them.
"Capedal” is a documentary exploring Washington, D.C. off the tourist path and onto the cycling path.
This is an experimental documentary that explores the challenges our society poses to artists, specifically musicians.
Open sign hanging at Georgetown Hairstyling
Vanussa and her husband took over Georgetown Hairstyling, a barbershop that stood here for more than a hundred years.
Simulated video game at Georgetown University
Mission Possible uses stop motion technique to simulate a video game, which leads the audiences to explore the campus with the character and ends with Old North.
Fortune cookies
Watch, laugh, and learn more about Fortune Cookies.
Shavini Fernando
A documentary featuring those who struggle with Pulmonary Arterial hypertension (PAH).
D.C.'s World War I Memorial
Why do we regard so many wars as "forgotten wars"? What consequences do we face when we deny these wars the cultural and academic attention they deserve?
Brunch in D.C.
This participatory documentary explores the DC brunch scene with a group of millennials.
Oral historian
Follow the lives of two oral historians in this documentary film.
Screenshot from "American, Too"
This film explores the changing policies of the U.S. government that affect migrants from Central America.
still from a video, of Joseph Hammett playing piano and singing, through a laser-cut TV cutout
A live performance music video of an original acoustic song with wooden model TV setup