I am a literary historian with research interests in South Asian studies, comparative literature and cultural studies. I earned a PhD in Asian Literatures, Cultures and Media, with a minor in Comparative Literature, from the University of Minnesota in 2019. In my current book project, Towards a Common Language: Social Movements, Vernacular Publics and the Aesthetic in Modern Telugu, I combine archival research, literary analysis and intellectual history to read concepts of the self and community as they are constituted through the vernacular in literary texts and social movement texts (speeches, journals, pamphlets, books) in the Telugu language (Southern Indian vernacular). These texts span the 20th century, beginning at the turn of the century (1890s-1900s) to the 1980s. I argue that in this corpus the vernacular emerges as a fundamentally exclusionary concept, whereby exclusion inflects how language is conceptualized and is not limited to the specific groups of speakers or forms of speech that are excluded from proper language or the public sphere. I am particularly interested in explicating how our understanding of literature changes when we orient our study of vernacular literatures towards this fundamental exclusionariness.