Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Middle East Studies

Second Department

Politics and International Relations

Reader 1

Sumita Pahwa

Reader 2

Heather Ferguson

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

2022 Julia V Brock


The January 25th Revolution in Egypt began in 2011 when protestors took to the streets in Cairo and other Egyptian cities demanding that President Hosni Mubarak resign. They were armed with a savvy tool: humor. This study is a historical and theoretical approach to understanding political humor’s position as a space for politically subversive conversation in Egypt in the decade leading up to the January 25th Revolution, as well as during the revolution itself. Humor, media, and social movement theories are mobilized within this thesis to explain humor’s unique position within Egyptian society and its function within subversive, informal political networks called counterpublics. This thesis demonstrates the ways in which political humor acted as a vehicle through which people expressed more direct criticisms of Mubarak’s regime in a manner that included more people into the insurgent conversations taking place among revolutionary and non-revolutionary Egyptians between 2000 and 2011.