##### Fundamental groups, Alexander invariants, and cohomology jumping loci

We survey the cohomology jumping loci and the Alexander-type invariants associated to a space, or to its fundamental group. Though most of the material is expository, we provide new examples and applications, which in turn raise several questions and conjectures. The jump loci of a space X come in two basic flavors: the characteristic varieties, or, the support loci for homology with coefficients in rank 1 local systems, and the resonance varieties,

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