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Cosmopolitan and Vernacular in History

Cosmopolitan and Vernacular in History I am grateful to Benedict Anderson for his meticulous and constructively contentious reading of the essay. Homi Bhabha, Carol A. Breckenridge, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Caitrin Lynch, and Mica Pollock helped me sharpen a number of the arguments and bear no responsibility for those that have remained dull. Public Culture 12(3): 591–625 Copyright © 2000 by Duke University Press Public Culture this essay, cosmopolitan practices. These great transformations in the course of the last two millennia — from the old cosmopolitan to the vernacular, and from the vernacular to the new and disquieting cosmopolitan of today—resulted from choices made by people at different times and places, for very complex reasons. Studying the history of such choices may have something important, perhaps even urgent, to tell us about choices available to us in the future. In earlier work I have studied the period following the old cosmopolitan epoch, which I called the vernacular millennium.1 This began in southern Asia and western Europe with remarkable simultaneity in the early second millennium, and it developed with equally striking parallels over the following five centuries. I say “began” emphatically: vernacular literary cultures were initiated by the conscious decisions of writers to reshape the boundaries http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Public Culture Duke University Press

Cosmopolitan and Vernacular in History

Public Culture , Volume 12 (3) – Oct 1, 2000

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2000 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0899-2363
eISSN
1527-8018
DOI
10.1215/08992363-12-3-591
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

I am grateful to Benedict Anderson for his meticulous and constructively contentious reading of the essay. Homi Bhabha, Carol A. Breckenridge, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Caitrin Lynch, and Mica Pollock helped me sharpen a number of the arguments and bear no responsibility for those that have remained dull. Public Culture 12(3): 591–625 Copyright © 2000 by Duke University Press Public Culture this essay, cosmopolitan practices. These great transformations in the course of the last two millennia — from the old cosmopolitan to the vernacular, and from the vernacular to the new and disquieting cosmopolitan of today—resulted from choices made by people at different times and places, for very complex reasons. Studying the history of such choices may have something important, perhaps even urgent, to tell us about choices available to us in the future. In earlier work I have studied the period following the old cosmopolitan epoch, which I called the vernacular millennium.1 This began in southern Asia and western Europe with remarkable simultaneity in the early second millennium, and it developed with equally striking parallels over the following five centuries. I say “began” emphatically: vernacular literary cultures were initiated by the conscious decisions of writers to reshape the boundaries

Journal

Public CultureDuke University Press

Published: Oct 1, 2000

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