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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 is also Postgraduate Tutor for the School of Arts and Humanities, and Coordinator of the English Research Seminar series. He undertakes teaching and research in the areas of African-American Writing, Literature of the United States, and Travel Writing.  Find the Centre for Travel Writing Studies on Twitter.

Career overview

Professor Youngs is widely regarded as a pioneer in the development of travel writing studies, a field in which he has researched for more than a quarter of a century, helping (with former and current colleagues) make NTU an internationally recognised centre of expert activity in the subject. Besides his many publications, including nine authored or edited books, with three more contracted, his initiatives and contributions include:

  • The founding in 1997 of the journal Studies in Travel Writing (now published four times a year by Routledge), which he continues to edit
  • The launching of the Borders and Crossings series of international conferences (inaugurated with Glenn Hooper in 1998)
  • The creation in 2002 of NTU's Centre for Travel Writing Studies
  • The establishment with Peter Hulme of the monograph series Routledge Research in Travel Writing
  • His co-organisation of, and invited participation in, many seminars, conferences and workshops across the world

Such activities have helped secure him an international reputation as a key facilitator and innovator in the field. He has given keynote papers and other invited talks in more than 20 countries on five continents and has acted as external examiner for 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. He has taught across all periods and genres of English Literature, including postcolonial. Besides travel writing, his current teaching and research continue to focus in the main on United States Literature (especially African American). He is also a poet. His poems have been published or are forthcoming in several magazines, including Staple, The Interpreter's House, The Journal, Lighthouse, The Nightwatchman: The Wisden Cricket Quarterly, Message in a Bottle, London Grip, Raceme and Poetry Salzburg Review. He is currently putting together a pamphlet of his work.

During his time at NTU he has sat on many departmental, School, College and University-level committees, and has served in several roles, including, for several years, as Postgraduate Research Tutor for the School of Arts and Humanities and as the Programme Leader for the MRes in English Literary Studies. He has also been Acting Research Unit Coordinator for English.

Research areas

Professor Youngs is a member of

Current projects:

  • a collection of travel-themed poems
  • Ashgate Research Companion to Travel Writing (ed.with Alasdair Pettinger)
  • Series Editor, Routledge Research in Travel Writing, with Professor Peter Hulme (2007-present)
  • The Cambridge History of Travel Writing (ed. with Nandini Das)
  • Founding Editor of Studies in Travel Writing, published four times a year by Routledge (1997-present).
  • Commissioned essays on African American travel writing, 1930s British Travel Writing, and Herman Melville and travel (all for Cambridge UP) and on British and North American Travel Writing and the Diary (Indiana UP)

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). Students he has recently supervised or continues to supervise as Director of Studies include Esme Coulbert, funded by an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award scheme, working with Coventry Transport Museum on early narratives of travel by automobile; Glen Winfield on contemporary African American travel writing; Mark Sullivan on Richard Harding Davis; Mara Sprengel on Palestine and travel; and Tony Robinson-Smith, writing a travelogue of Bhutan for a creative writing PhD. Further information may be obtained from the NTU Graduate School.

Please visit Professor Young's personal website.

External activity

  • Visiting Scholar, Centre for Colonialism and its Aftermath, University of Tasmania (February 2014)
  • Helen and John S. Best Fellowship, American Geographical Society/University of Wisconsin Milwaukee (2010)
  • Associate Editor for The Oxford Companion to English Literature (seventh edition, 2010)
  • President of the International Society for Travel Writing (2009-present)
  • Member of the International Association of University Professors in English (elected 2008)
  • Visiting Fellow (non-stipendiary), Institute of English Studies, School for Advanced Studies, University of London (2007-2008)
  • Fellow of the English Association (elected 2007)
  • External examiner for MA in English Literary Studies since 1900, Liverpool Hope University College (2005-2009)
  • Everett Helms Visiting Fellowship, Lilly Library, Indiana University (2005)
  • Member of Council of the Hakluyt Society (2004-2009)
  • External examiner and advisor for BA Hons English Studies, Grimsby College (2003-2007)
  • External examiner for MA courses in Comparative Literature and African Literatures, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (2000-2003)
  • Founding Editor of Studies in Travel Writing (1997-present)
  • Member of Editorial Board of Symbiosis: A Journal of Anglo-American Literary Relations (from 1997)
  • External Examiner for more than 30 PhDs from universities in Australia, Ireland, Spain, Sweden and the UK
  • Refereeing for several journals and publishers, including Cambridge University Press, Manchester University Press, Oxford University Press, Palgrave, Routledge/Taylor and Francis
  • Frequent guest lectures and invited keynote talks at universities in the UK and abroad
  • Co-organiser of many international conferences on travel writing, most recently the ISTW's 2010 conference at the University of South Carolina.

Sponsors and collaborators

Recently funded projects:

  • British Academy Small Research Grant for work on motorcycle narratives (February 2011), £1455.15
  • AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award in partnership with Coventry Transport Museum (2009-2012).

Professor Youngs' speaking engagements and editorial work see him regularly collaborate with colleagues from around the world. Current collaborative projects include the co-editorship of The Cambridge History of Travel Writing with Professor Nandini Das (University of Liverpool) and of The Ashgate Research Companion to Travel Writing with Dr. Alasdair Pettinger (Independent Scholar), each with international contributors.


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...