This course offers a hemispheric and comparative approach to the study of Anglo- and Latin American literature and culture from the late fifteenth until the eighteenth century, from the age of exploration to the late colonial period. We will look at a wide variety of texts produced in the wake of European imperial expansion in the Americas (e.g. letters, journals, natural histories, ethnographies, captivity narratives and travel accounts) that chronicle the creation of the so-called New World. How has exploration and travel writing produced the Americas for a European readership and what were the epistemological challenges authors were facing when writing the "New World"? How did non-Europeans (e.g. indigenous and Creole writers) react to these representational practices and what revisionist accounts did they provide? How was culture contact portrayed and how were racial ideologies constructed? These are just a few of the questions this course will address.