Organized Panel Session
This panel will explore examples of early vernacular writing as a pan-Asian phenomenon. We hope gain glimpses of particular moments when a people who are fluent in one language but literate in another are confronted with the uncanny feeling of seeing their spoken language written down and recited aloud in forms that were familiar only through their socialization into a transregional literary culture. Fundamentally, we seek to answer the following questions:
We seek to construct a history of Asian vernacular languages that is based not on the literary production of a few luminaries but rather on the contributions of a largely anonymous class of individuals who were among the first to write in languages that had hitherto only been spoken.