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Tim Youngs

Timothy Youngs


School of Arts & Humanities

Staff Group(s)
English, Culture and Media


Professor Youngs is the Director of Nottingham Trent University's Centre for Travel Writing Studies. He undertakes teaching and research in the areas of travel writing and the literature of the United States, especially African-American Writing. Find the Centre for Travel Writing Studies on Twitter

Career overview

Before starting at NTU Professor Youngs held a Research Assistantship in Black British Drama at Loughborough University (1986-7).

Research areas

Professor Youngs specialises in the study of travel writing, a field in which he has researched for more than thirty years. His many authored or edited books include introductions to and overviews of the subject as well as advanced, in-depth studies. He is especially interested in African American travel writing, radical travel texts and travel narratives of the interwar years. He continues to edit the journal Studies in Travel Writing, which he founded in 1997, and co-edits with Professor Peter Hulme the monograph series Routledge Research in Travel Writing. His most recent books are The Cambridge History of Travel Writing, co-edited with Professor Nandini Das, and The Ashgate Research Companion to Travel Writing, edited with Dr Alasdair Pettinger (both forthcoming in 2019). He is currently writing The Oxford Very Short Introduction to Travel Writing and a book on motorcycle travel narratives.

Professor Youngs is also a poet. His poems have been published in several magazines, including The Innisfree Poetry Journal, The Interpreter's House, Poetry Salzburg Review, and Stride. His debut pamphlet, Touching Distance, was published by Five Leaves in November 2017 and an anthology edited with Dr Sarah Jackson, In Transit: Poems of Travel, by the Emma Press in 2018.

Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil/PhD exist. Professor Youngs welcomes enquiries from prospective research students in travel writing studies, African-American writing, and in other areas of post-1850 Anglophone literature (including late nineteenth-century British and US literature, modernist and postcolonial writing, as well as from those interested in writing creative-critical theses). His previous and current supervisions as Director of Studies include:

  • Kerry Featherstone, ‘Not just travel writing: an interdisciplinary reading of the work of Bruce Chatwin’ (completed 2000)
  • Robert Burroughs, “Britain's Travelling Eyewitnesses: Narratives of the New Slaveries, 1884–1916.” (completed 2006)
  • Marco Ruberto, ‘Itinerant Narratives: Travel, Identity and Literary Form in Abdulrazak Gurnah’s Fiction’ (completed 2006)
  • Esme Coulbert, ‘Perspectives on the road: narratives of motoring in Britain’ (AHRC   Collaborative Doctoral Award scheme, working with Coventry Transport Museum)   (completed 2013)
  • Glen Winfield. ‘Dream of an elsewhere: contemporary African American travel writing’ (completed 2013)
  • Tony Robinson-Smith, ‘The Dragon Run, a travel   book on Bhutan with critical commentary examining how travel writers   manipulate time in their narratives’ (completed 2016)
  • Sofia Aatkar, ‘“Strangers to these shores;   strangers to themselves”: An Exploration of Caribbean-British Travel Writing’
  • Jenny Owen, ‘A Barren Legacy: The Arabian   desert as Orientalist trope in English travel writing, post-Thesiger’
  • Jean Morris, ‘‘Promised Lands – A Psycho-social account of statelessness’
  • Mark Sullivan, ‘Exporting the Standard   Measure: The Function of Travel in selected writings of Richard Harding’

Further information may be obtained from the NTU Graduate School.

Please visit Professor Youngs’ personal website.

External activity

    Professor Youngs has given keynote papers and other invited talks in more than 20 countries on five continents and has acted as external examiner for more than 30 PhDs for universities in the UK, Ireland, Australia, Sweden, Spain and Hungary. He is frequently called upon as a peer reviewer and has been a reader for over 30 academic journals and book publishers. He has also advised promotion committees for several universities, in Asia and the US as well as in the UK.

Sponsors and collaborators

Professor Youngs’ activities see him frequently collaborate with individuals and institutions in several countries. His research has been supported by the AHRC and the British Academy, among other funders. He has held visiting fellowships at the University of Tasmania, the Lilly Library, Indiana University; and the American Geographical Society/University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.


African American Travel Writing”, in Robert Clarke, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Travel Writing (Cambridge University Press, 2018), pp.109-23.

Take out your machine’: narratives of early motorcycle travel”, in Julia Kuehn and Paul Smethurst, eds, New Directions in Travel Writing Studies (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2015), pp.145-160.

“William O. Field’s Journey to the Margins of Europe”, in Waldemar Zacharasiewicz and David Staines, eds, Narratives of Encounters in the North Atlantic Triangle University of Vienna (Vienna: Verlag der österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2015), pp.245-58.

“Urban Recesses: Memory, Nature and the City”, in Françoise Besson, Claire Omhovère, Héliane Ventura, eds, The Memory of Nature in Aboriginal, Canadian and American Contexts (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2014), pp.31-42.

Travel Writing: Critical Concepts in Literary and Cultural Studies (ed. with Charles Forsdick), 4 vols (Routledge, 2012)

Beastly Journeys: Travel and Transformation at the fin de Siècle. Youngs T, 2013, Liverpool University Press

Underground Travels: Powers Hapgood and the Miners of the World. Youngs T, Forum for Modern Language Studies, 2013, 49 (4), 472

The Cambridge Introduction to Travel Writing (Cambridge Introductions). Youngs T, 2013, Cambridge University Press

Pushing Against the Black / White Limits of Maps: African American Writings of Travel. Youngs T, English Studies in Africa, 2010, 53 (2), 71-85

Travelling Modernists. Youngs T in (eds) Brooker P, Gasiorek A, Longworth D and Thacker A, The Oxford Handbook of Modernisms, 2010, Oxford University Press, 267-280

The Pacifist Traveller: Kate Crane-Gartz . Youngs T in (eds) Castillo S and Seed D, American Travel and Empire, 2009, Liverpool University Press, 200-216

See all of Tim Youngs's publications...