In this course, we’ll read world literature written since the 17th century in order to investigate, through unique and differing perspectives, our shared global history from the birth of the nation-state, through the rise of empires, to contemporary globalization. In order to be able to more firmly grasp the historical contexts, we’ll limit our readings primarily to Europe, Africa, and the Americas--what Paul Gilroy calls the Black Atlantic. The course will focus in particular on comparative readings of the relationship between the individual and the history of the place they inhabit, colonize, are indigenous to, migrate from/to, are forcibly displaced from/to, etc. We’ll ask: who counts as a citizen of a nation-state? How do the categories of race, gender, and nationality intersect to shape different relationships between an individual and the place they live in? How do these relationships and their articulation in literature change or remain the same over time and across space? And, how are local and global themes and forms incorporated into literature as books and ideas circulate?