Contemporary usages are diverse in motivation and in how they understand the vernacular, but they share at a minimum a sense of the term as oppositional to the transnational, the national, and the standard. The vernacular is one point of vantage from which to resist conceptually, which is rather different than saying ethically, the overwhelming force of the national and transnational. Scholars situated in the North American academy routinely overestimate the material and affective force of the national and the transnational. Recourse to the vernacular as a critical term is a way to temper the force of the overestimation. For comparative literature, the vernacular is a horizon of possibility–the difference by which to orient the work of comparison. “Vernacular literature” might be explored as a notion indicating not simply works in languages regularly characterized as vernacular but rather– more expansively and perhaps idiosyncratically–works expressing a vernacular sensibility.