Yasmine Nachabe Taan

Associate Professor,
Director, Institute of Art in the Arab World

Ph.D. Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University, Canada
M.S. Communications Design, Pratt Institute, USA

Dr. Yasmine Nachabe Taan was appointed Director of the Institute of Art in the Arab World on September 2022. She is Associate Professor of Art and Design History at the Lebanese American University and served as chair of the Department of Art and Design at the School of Architecture and Design between 2013-2017. She first joined LAU in 1994 as instructor of Graphic Design when she was part of the team that launched the Bachelor program in Graphic Design at LAU in 1996.

Between 2020 and 2022, Nachabe Taan was visiting professor at Bilkent University teaching theoretical undergraduate courses in the Department of Graphic Design and Graduate courses in the Department of Communication Design. Between 2017 and 2018, she was visiting professor at McGill University from which she received a PhD in Art History and Communications Studies in 2012. She also holds a Master of Science in Communications Design from Pratt Institute in New York.

Her interdisciplinary research cuts across the fields of visual culture, gender politics, photography and design history with a focus on Lebanon and the Middle East. 

She is currently lead researcher in a large project funded by AFAC, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Khatt Foundation. The project entitled, Revealing Recording Reflecting, consists of research on generations of women graphic designers from Southwest Asia and North Africa, and the diaspora. The project uses the exhibition platform as an editorial space to collect, reveal, retell and record the work and untold stories of the women graphic designers, calligraphers, typographers and illustrators who play key roles in shaping and rethinking visual and material culture of the region. 

In 2021, she received the 10x10 Photobooks grant to study Catherine Leroy’s photographic practice in Beirut and in 2019, she received the Design History Society Research Grant for her research on Mouna Bassili Sehnaoui: Imagining Beirut from the 1960s till the 1990s (forthcoming). Nachabe Taan is on the advisory board for the Design & Culture journal and serves as a Trustee for the Design History Society.

Research Interests

Graphic Design history and theory

Art and Design education in the Middle East

Gender and Visual Culture in the Middle East

Early photography in the Middle East


Select Publications


Nachabe Taan, Y. (Forthcoming). Mouna Bassili Sehnaoui, an Avant-garde Graphic Designer at the Lebanese National Council of Tourism 1966-1976. Khatt Books, Amsterdam.

Lewis, R. & Nachabe Taan, Y. eds. (2021). Fashioning the Modern Middle East: Gender, Body, and Nation.
Bloomsbury, London.

Nachabe Taan, Y. (2020). Marie al-Khazen’s Photographs: Gender, Photography, Mandate Lebanon.
Bloomsbury, London.

Nachabe Taan, Y. (2019). Saloua Raouda Choucair: Modern Arab Design: An Exploration of Abstraction Across
Materials and Functions. Khatt Books, Amsterdam.

Nachabe Taan, Y. (2017). Abdulkader Arnaout: Designing as Visual Poetry. Khatt Books, Amsterdam.

Nachabe Taan, Y. (2014). Hilmi el-Tuni, Evoking Popular Arab Culture. Khatt Books, Amsterdam.


Chapter in Book

Nachabe Taan, Y. (forthcoming). “Disaster seen by Three Female Contemporary Lebanese Artists,” in Women’s War Stories: The Lebanese Civil War as Lived by Women, Hartman, M. & Abisaab, M. (eds.). Syracuse University Press, NY.

Nachabe Taan, Y. (2021). “Mapping Modern Bodies in the Middle East: Introduction,” in Fashioning the Modern Middle East: Gender, Body, and Nation, Lewis, R. & Nachabe Taan, Y. (eds.). Bloomsbury, London, pp. 1-18.

Nachabe Taan, Y. (2021). “The Arab Garçonne: Being Simultaneously Modern and Arab in 1920s and 1930s Palestine, Lebanon, and Egypt,” in Fashioning the Modern Middle East: Gender, Body, and Nation, Lewis, R. & Nachabe Taan, Y. (eds.). Bloomsbury, London, pp. 136-153.

Nachabe Taan, Y. (2021). “Negotiating an Entry to Modernity through Marie al-Khazen’s Photographs (1920-1930),” in Cultural Entanglement in the Pre-Independence Arab World Arts, Thought and Literature, Gorman, A. & Irving, S. (eds.). I.B. Tauris, London, pp. 93-116.

Nachabe Taan, Y. (2018). “The July 2006 War in Lebanon, Mazen Kerbaj imaging the unimaginable,” in Cultures of War in Graphic Novels Violence, Trauma, and Memory, Prorokova. P. & Nimrod, T. (eds.). Rutgers University Press, New Jersey, pp. 189-204.


Articles in Refereed Journals

Nachabe Taan, Y. (2020). “Reversing the Domestic Gaze: Chaza Charafeddine’s Maidames Exhibition in Beirut” in Journal of Middle East Women Studies, issue 16.1, pp. 87-93.

Nachabe Taan, Y. (2018). “Performing Masculinity during Mandate Lebanon in Marie al-Khazen’s photographs,” Masculinities Journal, issue 9-10, Feb. Aug. 2018, pp. 97-128.

Nachabe Taan, Y. (2018). “Performing different lives in Chaza Charafeddine’s series of portraits,” REVELAR, volume 3, pp. 95-115.

Nachabe Taan, Y. (2012). “A Refracted Gaze” in Altre Modernità, 8
DOI: 10.6092/2035-7680/2582

Nachabe Taan, Y. (2011). “An Alternative Representation of Femininity in 1920s Lebanon: Through the Mise-en-Abîme of a Masculine Space” in New Middle Eastern Studies Journal, 1.