Aims & Scope

Inquire is a peer-reviewed, open-access online journal of Comparative Literature by graduate students in the Comparative Literature Program at the University of Alberta that serves the intellectual and professional interests of an international community of students, teachers and scholars. The goals of Inquire are:

  • to enable graduate students to gain professional experience through the construction and management of a journal
  • to promote the development of interdisciplinary research conducted by emerging scholars
  • to publish contemporary work and useful resources applicable to students, teachers and scholars of Comparative Literature
  • to create an international site that encourages open communication and collaborative creativity across the discipline

Inquire does not advocate any single way of understanding or doing Comparative Literature. We encourage interdisciplinary contributions that consider literature from literary, material, economic, political and social perspectives, as well as works past or present, upmarket or downmarket, produced and received by and for a variety of readerships, in any form, across linguistic, political and cultural boundaries.

Inquire provides the space to ask difficult questions and encourages well-developed responses. A single issue provides an entry point into the discipline by focusing on a methodology, topic, form, genre, etc. Authors explore the possibilities set forth by the call for papers. Accordingly, Inquire does not assume an agreed upon point of departure and does not aim for agreement. The basis of this community is inquiry, communication and understanding, not consensus. The priority is to facilitate respectful, informed and meaningful discussion between students, teachers, scholars and communities that consider literature from unique perspectives.


Inquire publishes articles and reviews by graduate students, solicited contributions from established academics (In Every Issue) as well as reports, interviews and resources compiled by graduate students (CL Hub) in spring and fall of each year.

Articles enable the exploration of particular issues as described by a call for papers. Reviews cover the recent publication of print or online resources relevant to the study of Comparative Literature.

In Every Issue contains contributions from established academics in Comparative Literature or the arts. The aim is twofold: to provide historical perspective on the discipline and to engage people with experience that can speak about contemporary issues of importance. There are four parts: (1) ‘State of the Discipline’ features an interview with or an essay by a prominent figure in comparative literature; (2) ‘CL History’ provides knowledge and insight into the history of the discipline in Canada and elsewhere; (3) ‘U Views’ provides perspective on important changes, trends or issues in post-secondary education; and (4) ‘Media X’ considers various aspects of the intersection between contemporary media and academia relevant to the profession.

CL Hub compiles resources on practical issues relevant to students, teachers and scholars of Comparative Literature and the arts, including eight sections: (1) ‘In the Field’ consists of reports from graduate students on experience teaching, researching, attending conferences, finding a supervisor, applying for funding, looking for a job, etc.; (2) ‘Project Room’ provides a space for graduate students to describe their own work; (3) ‘CL World’ describes Comparative Literature as it exists around the world; (4) ‘Post-CL’ involves interviews with people that have graduated with a degree in Comparative Literature; (5) ‘Cool Courses’ highlights innovative and interesting courses from around the world; (6) ‘New Pubs’ notes recent publications related to the comparative study of literature; (7) ‘Find It’ lists associations, programs, journals, funding opportunities, employment resources and academic networks; and (8) 'New Trans' gives graduate students the opportunity to publish translations of previously unpublished works or those in need of a new interpretation.


Any graduate student enrolled in any graduate or post-graduate program at any university or college worldwide is eligible to contribute to the following sections of Inquire: Articles (subject to peer-review), Reviews, In the Field, CL World, Cool Courses, Project Room, and New Trans (subject to peer-review). Graduate students who are nearing the end of their program remain eligible to contribute if their convocation date is schedule after the targetted publication date for the specific issue of Inquire (please check with the Editor to confirm eligibility).

As Inquire aims to maximize publication opportunities for graduate students who may not otherwise have publication opportunities, the following restrictions apply to all graduate student contributors: (1) contributors shall not publish in more than one section of any given issue; (2) contributors shall not publish in the same section in multiple issues; and (3) graduate students in the positions of Editor, Assistant Editor and Associate Editor shall not publish in the above listed sections in the issue for which they are serving in these roles. Inquire reserves the right to lift these restrictions in the event that no other contributor is available for a given section in any issue.

Recent graduates and post-doctoral students of any university or college worldwide are eligible to contribute to the Post-CL section.

Faculty members of any university or college worldwide are eligible to contribute to the In Every Issue section of Inquire by invitation only.


Each issue of Inquire is submitted for indexing in the MLA International Bibliography, included in the MLA Directory of Periodicals, and  listed in the Directory of Open Access journals (DOAJ). Inquire will also be available via EBSCO starting with issue 3.1 (Jan 2013).


Without the skill and commitment of volunteer editors and reviewers pursuing graduate studies in Comparative Literature, English & Film Studies and Modern Languages & Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta, Inquire would not be possible. Each issue is only as good as the contributions from authors: Inquire received first-rate submissions from both graduate students and established academics. The Streetmag platform which powers Inquire continues to evolve due to the technical genius and hard work of Mark Madsen and would not exist without the creative vision and material support of Gary Kelly. The Comparative Literature Program at the University of Alberta, including office staff, graduate students, faculty and administration, supports Inquire in a number of important ways. The collective work of all involved makes possible a significant contribution to the discipline of Comparative Literature and to the greater Arts community. 



Issue 4.2 (November 2015) is published!

“Wake up in Moloch!”: Representations of Modernity in Literature and Art

Inquire 4.2 Call for Papers is Out!

Please visit our Submissions section to view the Call for Papers for Issue 4.2

Inquire 3.2 (February 2014) is published

Inquire: Journal of Comparative Literature 3.2 (February 2014) ‘Neither Here Nor There: The (Non-)Geographical Futures of Comparative Literature’ is published.

Inquire 3.1 (March 2013) is published!

Literature and Identity

Inquire 2.2 (June 2012) is published!

09. 2012 Inquire 2.2 ‘Literary Violence’ (June 2012) is published.

Inquire 2.1 (Jan 2012) is published!

01.2012. Inquire 2.1 (Jan 2012) ‘Global Dialogues’ is published.

Join the team!

11.2011-05.2012. Inquire is seeking graduate students in Comparative Literature and the Arts to join the editorial team for 2012-13.

What’s On


Inquire: Journal of Comparative Literature

Brought to you by Graduate Students from the Program in Comparative Literature
at the University of Alberta

ISSN 1923-5879
Email: inquire [at]

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