2024 North American Section Conference

“Mt. Tamalpais” by William Keith 

The Genius of Language *

A Conference for Friends and Members

of the Section for the Literary Arts and Humanities

of the School for Spiritual Science in North America

September, 2024


“To one who understands the sense of speech
The world unveils
Its image form.”


— Rudolf Steiner, from the lecture cycle “The Genius of Language” *


January, 2024

Dear Friends and Members of the Section,

The Section for the Literary Arts and Humanities will host a North American Conference for friends and members of the Section in 2024. Christiane Haid will attend. Christiane is the Goetheanum leader of the Literary Arts & Humanities Section (Beautiful Sciences) and the Visual Arts Section of the School for Spiritual Science.


The Conference will occur in two North American cities:

San Francisco: September 7 – 8, 2024
Toronto: September 13 – 15, 2024


“Can I Attend Both Locations?” Will Christiane Haid Be Present at Both?”

Of course! Christiane Haid will attend and present at both locations. There will be ample time to meet with her and have conversations. The events at each location will weave together a rich tapestry of common themes. Friends and members can attend either or both locations. Each North American location will add something special that reflects the unique genius loci or presiding “Spirit of Place.” Together, the two locations will provide a glimpse of the richness and variety of our North American Section work at the end of the first quarter of the 21st century.

Beauty is the sole business of poetry.
The rest’s diversion: those holy or noble sentiments, the
intricate ideas,
The love, lust, longing: reasons, but not the reason.


— Robinson Jeffers from the poem “The Beauty of Things,” 1939


“How Can I Register? What is the Program? Do I Need to be a Section Member?”

The Conference is for friends and members of the Section. You do  not need to self-identify as a “member” of the Section. The program and schedule for the Conference are in the final stages of preparation and will be shared in the coming weeks, along with registration materials.


“Next Steps?”

Keep an eye on the website TheLiteraryArts.com for current and ongoing details. Information will be emailed to friends and members during the coming weeks.


All Best Wishes,

Bruce Donehower (Section Representative to the Goetheanum) on behalf of the North American Section Leadership Group: Fred Dennehy (USA), Gayle Davis (USA), Arie van Amerigen (Canada), Robert McKay (Canada), Herbert Hagens (USA), Susan Koppersmith (Canada), Clifford Venho (USA), Robert McDermott (USA), Philip Thatcher (Canada)


* The title of the North American Section Conference is taken from a cycle of lectures by Rudolf Steiner that were given to the teachers of the first Waldorf School in Stuttgart December 26, 1919 to January 3, 1920. This lecture cycle appears in German as Geisteswissenschaftlische Sprachbetrachtungen (GA 299) and in English has the title “The Genius of Language”  (trans. by Ruth Pusch and Gertrude Teutsch; SteinerBooks). While the Conference will reference contents and themes in this lecture cycle, we will not use the cycle as a primary text.

It is hard to hear a new voice, as hard as it is to listen to an unknown language. We just don’t listen. There is a new voice in the old American classics. The world has declined to hear it, and has blabbed about children’s stories.


— D. H. Lawrence, from “Studies in Classic American Literature”, chapter one, The Spirit of Place