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Literature, Sound and the Egyptian Uprising

Par Jumana Bayeh : Senior Lecturer - Macquarie University
Publié par Marion Coste le 12/01/2023

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Egypt's Arab Spring was experienced as a mediated event in two notable ways. First, in the immediate successes of Tahrir Square, Facebook was heralded as a fundamental agent of the uprising and responsible for the fall of Mubarak. Second, the failure of the 'Spring' with the election of an Islamist and a counter-revolution that saw the rise of a military dictatorship, news reports sought to make sense of the country's rapidly flailing political fortunes. Missing from both these forms of mediation are the voices of the rioters, their coordinated spontaneity and their very acts of resistance. While numerous images of the protests were captured, individual stories and lives were drowned out by the raucous cacophony of the masses. Assuming an extended view of the media terrain that recorded the uprising, this seminar seeks to recover the lost voices of Egypt's Arab Spring. It focuses on two novels by Robert Omar Hamilton and Yasmin El Rashid to drill down into how intimate stories and individual voices provide an alternative method to inform our knowledge of crowd violence. It will illustrate how narrative discourses can contribute in critical and strategic ways to reclaiming what has been lost or unheard in the seeming media decadence that characterised the uprising.


Jumana Bayeh is a Fellow of the Collegium de Lyon (2022). This talk was part of the "Lectures in English Studies" programme of the Department of English at the ENS de Lyon and was organized by Vanessa Guignery. 

This paper was part of an Australia Research Council project, with Professors Helen Groth (UNSW) and Julian Murphet (Adelaide), called "Rioting and the Literary Archive".



Introduction 00:00
Schafer's lo and hi-fi system 07:33
Chronicle of a Last Summer: A Novel of Egypt, Yasmine El Rashidi (2016) 13:28
The City Always Wins, Robert Omar Hamilton (2017) 24:16
Conclusion 34:48


Télécharger le Power Point de la conférence [PDF]


Pour citer cette ressource :

Jumana Bayeh, "Literature, Sound and the Egyptian Uprising", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), janvier 2023. Consulté le 18/07/2024. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/litterature/litterature-postcoloniale/literature-sound-and-the-egyptian-uprising