Large-scale demonstrations during January and February 2011 forced the departure of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. Many Western commentators represented these events as a digital revolution, attributing authorship as much to the technologies of the digital age—particularly social networking sites—as to individuals themselves. This article discusses the role of circulation in understanding the Egyptian popular uprising. It focuses on the literary work of a young generation of Egyptians whose writings from the past several years—and comments on the January 25 movement—illuminate the tensions in the debate around whether to focus on the transnational movement of images, ideas, and public forms or on the local meanings of texts and representations.

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