Academic Catalog 2021–2022

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GRDE431 Graphic Design in the Middle East

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This lecture course is divided into two parts. The first component addresses the development and use of Arabic letterforms and the way typography functions as visual language. Through field trips, lectures, guest speakers and documentaries, the second part examines traditional and contemporary graphic design work in or about the Middle East and North Africa region. It includes works by graphic designers, illustrators and typographers from nations as diverse as Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Turkey and the UAE. One of the main objectives of the course is to look at design practices that attempt to deepen our understanding of visual communication in print and digital media from varied cultures. Topics discussed are visual vernacular, posters and other publications that respond to socio-political major events in the region such as the Arab-Israeli conflict, activism in times of instability and war, the politics of gender and sexuality in the Arab world, and the recent rise of archival material that prompts us to rethink the past. Various methods of visual analysis will be explored.

Prerequisite: GRDE420 Visual Culture