San Diego, October 4-7, 2007

Buchstaben: The Literary Life of Letters

Letters of the alphabet typically do not call attention to themselves. From time
to time, however, the nature and quality, the presence or absence of a letter
within a word, a text, or an orthographic system may matter. By the same token,
philosophers of language, linguists, etymologists, and philologists occasionally
take interest in the fate of a letter (Hamann, Herder, Moritz, J. Grimm,
Saussure, and Jacobson come to mind, but certainly there are others). For this
panel, I am looking for people who in the course of their reading have stumbled
upon letter-related curiosities that invite interpretation and reflection on the
life of letters. In the interest of full disclosure, I plan to contribute a
paper on the letter H that will focus on Hamann’s “Neue Apologie des Buchstaben
h” and orthographic mischief in Fontane’s Irrungen, Wirrungen. Please send paper
proposals by 1 February 2007 to:

Simon Richter ([log in to unmask])
University of Pennsylvani

The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Stefani Engelstein
Assistant Editor:  Megan McKinstry
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
Info available at: