A long-awaited “Arab Spring” or “Arab Awakening” erupted with stunning swiftness in January of 2011. What are its roots? What are its futures? Pundits and politicians, political scientists and specialists of all kinds propose answers. What light do the humanities shed on these shattering events--so full of hope and potential, so uncertain as to their outcomes, so varied from place to place, already so tragic in some contexts? How does an understanding of the arts, literature, film, philosophy, culture, and history in regional and global perspectives contribute to understanding the prospects and challenges of the “Arab Spring”? The Germaine Brée Symposium brings three distinguished speakers to campus together with UW-Madison faculty and students for a day-long exploration of these issues. The event is open to the public.