Youngman, Paul A. 1965-

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Youngman, Paul A. 1965-


Born May 3, 1965, in Rochester, NY; son of Peter and Susan Youngman; married, August 11, 1988; wife's name Julie (an attorney); children: Alexander, Madeline, and Lily. Education: Washington and Lee University, B.S., 1987; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, M.A., 1995, Ph.D., 2003. Hobbies and other interests: Running.


Home—Chapel Hill, NC. Office—Department of Languages and Culture Studies, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28223. E-mail—[email protected]


Educator. East Chapel Hill High School, Chapel Hill, NC, teacher, 1996-2003; University of North Carolina at Charlotte, assistant professor of German, 2003—, director of Center for Humanities, Technology, and Science, 2007—. Military service: U.S. Army, 1987-93, served in Germany and Iraq; became captain; received Bronze Star with "V" for valor.


Society for Literature, Science, and Art, American Association of Teachers of German, Modern Language Association.


Black Devil and Iron Angel: The Railway in Nineteenth-Century German Realism, Catholic University of America Press (Washington, DC), 2005.

Contributor to periodicals, including Studies in 20th and 21st Century Literature, Seminar: A Journal of German Studies, Glossen, Postscript: Publication of the Philological Association of the Carolinas, Southeastern Council on Latin-American Studies Annals, MIFLC Review, Other Voices: eJournal of Cultural Criticism, German Quarterly, Die Unterrichtspraxis, and German Studies Review.


Paul A. Youngman is an American educator and German scholar. Youngman received a bachelor of science degree from Washington and Lee University in 1987. The same year he entered the U.S. Army, serving in both Germany and Iraq. In 1993, he left the Army, having earned a Bronze Star, and pursued graduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He earned a master of arts degree in 1995 and followed this with a Ph.D. in 2003. While working on his doctoral degree, he worked as a German teacher at East Chapel Hill High School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. After completing his dissertation, however, he accepted a position as an assistant professor of German at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

In 2005 Youngman published his first book, Black Devil and Iron Angel: The Railway in Nineteenth-Century German Realism. The account examines the significance of the railroad in Germany and the way in which German people gravitated either towards or away from the new technology. Youngman attempts to bridge the divide between literature and mythology and the fields of science and technology by examining the literary record of scholars and notable figures of the nineteenth century in Germany. These figures include C.P. Snow, Berthold Auerbach, Peter Rosegger, Gerhard Rademacher, Johannes Mahr, and Alfred Ch. Heinimann. Youngman also discusses the range of opinion everyday people had about the railroad, ranging from a destroyer of humankind to an enhancer of culture.

Birgit A. Jensen, reviewing Black Devil and Iron Angel in the German Quarterly, noted that "this monograph presents a valuable contribution to third-culture studies." Jensen found that space is "limited" for Youngman to expand the section describing the positions of Fontane, Hauptmann, and Eyth. She noted, however, that "these three remaining analyses are well-written and indeed contribute to the scholarship on these authors in a thoughtful manner." Jensen concluded: "Although I would quibble with Youngman on a few of his points when he seems to overstate his case in order to substantiate the authors' awareness of a ‘third culture,’ I enjoyed reading this insightful study."

Paul A. Youngman once told CA: "I have always been interested in the conflicted reception of technology. On the one hand we embrace new technologies for their efficiency and power, and on the other we recoil at the idea of the potential loss of our essential humanity. My first book, Black Devil and Iron Angel, is a look at the German cultural reception of the train and its network which were lauded as promoters of democracy, economic well-being, and even intellectual spirit. My current project, "Digital Realities and Digital Myths," as a look at the reception of the computer and the digital network in the modern era, is a logical follow on inasmuch as the expectations for computing technologies are almost the same as they were for the railway in the nineteenth century."



German Quarterly, spring, 2007, Birgit A. Jensen, review of Black Devil and Iron Angel: The Railway in Nineteenth-Century German Realism.

German Studies Review, May, 2007, Jeffrey L. Sammons, review of Black Devil and Iron Angel, p. 417.


Paul Youngman Home Page, (December 19, 2007).