Youngs, Tim

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Male. Education: City of Birmingham Polytechnic, B.A. (honors), 1982; University of Nottingham, M.A., 1985; Nottingham Polytechnic, Ph.D., 1992.


Office—Department of English and Media Studies, Nottingham Trent University, Clifton Lane, Nottingham NG11 8NS, England. E-mail—[email protected]


Writer, editor, and educator. Loughborough University, Leicestershire, England, research fellow in black British drama, 1986-87; Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham, England, research assistant in travel narratives of Africa, 1987-90; Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, lecturer in English, 1990—, professor of English and travel studies, director of Centre for Travel Writing Studies. Founding editor, Studies in Travel Writing.


Arts and Humanities Research Board Award, Nottingham Trent University, 1998.


Travellers in Africa: British Travelogues, 1850-1900, Manchester University Press (New York, NY), 1994.

(Editor) Writing and Race, Longman (New York, NY), 1997.

(Editor, with Peter Hulme) The Cambridge Companion to Travel Writing, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2002.

(Editor, with Glenn Hooper) Perspectives on Travel Writing, Ashgate (Burlington, VT), 2003.

(Editor, with others) Nineteenth-Century Travels, Explorations, and Empires, volume seven, Pickering & Chatto (London, England), 2004.

Contributor to volumes including Beauty and the Beast: Christina Rossetti, Walter Pater, R. L. Stevenson, and Their Contemporaries, edited by Peter Liebregts and Wim Tigges, Rodopi (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1996, and Constellation Caliban: Figurations of a Character, edited by Nadia Lie and Theo d'Haen, Rodopi.

Contributor to periodicals and scholarly publications such as Symbiosis, History in Africa, and Critical Survey.


A book on the transformations of English literature of the 1880s and 1890s.


Tim Youngs is best known for his studies of the academic aspects of travelogues and travel writing. Youngs serves as the head of Nottingham Trent University's Centre for Travel Writing, which specializes in areas such as travel and romanticism, travel and modernism, and slave travel narratives. He is also founding editor of the international academic journal Studies in Travel Writing, with headquarters at the Centre for Travel Writing.

Travellers in Africa: British Travelogues, 1850-1900 presents a detailed study of travel writings from a variety of British travelers in late nineteenth-century Africa. "Youngs is interested primarily in what evolving written representations of Africa reveal about British travel writers in relation to their culture," remarked Joan Corwin in Victorian Studies. Corwin added, "Youngs's inclusion of relatively obscure travelogues and the broad range of the readings he applies to interpreting them promise exciting possibilities for his work." Travellers in Africa contains an account of an 1867 military mission in Abyssinia that demonstrates the shift in the writer's perspective from personal to national; an examination of the traveler/consumer's relationship to goods and food; and a consideration of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness as a travel narrative that reveals Conrad's perspective on Africa. Corwin noted that Travellers in Africa "contains some very good ideas," but she also stated that the type of "energetic inclusion and sampling" of numerous sources "presents problems for the book's coherence."

Catherine Ann Cline, writing in Agricultural History, commented that Travellers in Africa "argues convincingly that these accounts of African culture served the purpose of defining what it meant to be a European. Likewise, his contention seems plausible that the evolution of the image of Africans from that of noble savages to a more negative portrait of backward and uneducable primitives helped to justify late Victorian imperialism." Jeremy Seal, writing in the Times Literary Supplement, stated that Youngs's "intention seems at least as much to arouse feelings of guilt in contemporary Britons for the sins of racism, class distinction, and capitalist greed in their forebears."

Race and Class contributor Lawrence Phillips remarked that, as editor of Writing and Race, Youngs sets out to identify "the more important issues that continue to define the debate over writing and racial difference—principally from a western perspective—including attempts to write from an ethnic identity that has been scarred by prejudice and physical oppression." Sections of the book discuss representation of race in anthropology; the debate over the use of discourse analysis; and, Phillips noted, "the function of racial stereotypes in writing on race." Phillips also noted that Youngs's solution to ethnocentric anthropology is "what he calls 'dialogical ethnography,' an ethnography whereby knowledge of the Other is gained through dialogue—an equal exchange." Mary Baine Campbell, writing on the Intellect Books Web site, commented that "the essays cover a lot of ground, literally—North America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, the 'South Seas,' Germany—as well as figuratively, in discussions not only of discursive, institutional and political racism and racialism but of hybridity, pederastic sexuality, modernism and modernity."

The Cambridge Companion to Travel Writing, edited by Youngs and Peter Hulme, collects fifteen essays by a variety of scholars from diverse fields who address travel writing in English from the early sixteenth century to the present. "Travel, once largely the domain of geographers, and travel writing, previously relegated to the status of a sub-literary genre, now engage attention from literary studies, history, anthropology, ethnography, and, most fruitfully, from gender and post-colonial studies," observed Ros Pesman on the Australian Book Review Online. The book explores issues such as the emergence of travel for the sole sake of writing, travel writing and gender, travel writing and ethnography, as well as theories of travel writing. Seven geographic areas—Arabia, the Amazon, Tahiti, Ireland, Calcutta, Congo, and California—are singled out for particular attention as travel writing destinations and subjects. Pesman concluded that the book "draws a clear and accessible map of the terrain and of current orientations." Bernard Mergen, writing in American Studies International, called the book "a good introduction to the history and criticism of travel writing."

Youngs also served as one of the editors for the seventh volume of Nineteenth-Century Travels, Explorations, and Empires. This volume, which focuses on the continent of Africa, includes Victorianera British travel narratives and a selection of hard-to-find primary resource texts for students and researchers studying British history, literature, and colonialism.



African Affairs, July, 1995, A. H. M. Kirk-Greene, review of Travellers in Africa: British Travelogues, 1850-1900, p. 451.

Agricultural History, winter, 1996, Catherine Ann Cline, review of Travellers in Africa, pp. 117-118.

American Studies International, October, 2003, Bernard Mergen, review of The Cambridge Companion to Travel Writing, pp. 128-130.

Contemporary Review, February, 2003, review of The Cambridge Companion to Travel Writing, pp. 119-121.

History: The Journal of the Historical Association, July, 1996, Barbara Bush, review of Travellers in Africa, pp. 391-392.

Race and Class, January, 1996, Imogen Forster, review of Travellers in Africa, pp. 105-107; April-June, 1998, Lawrence Phillips, review of Writing and Race, pp. 100-103.

Reference Reviews, 2003, Stuart Hannabuss, review of The Cambridge Companion to Travel Writing, p. 37.

Times Higher Education Supplement, July 28, 1995, Marjorie Toone, review of Travellers in Africa, p. 21.

Times Literary Supplement, July 28, 1995, Jeremy Seal, review of Travellers in Africa, p. 12.

Victorian Studies, winter, 1997, Joan Corwin, review of Travellers in Africa, pp. 379-381.


Australian Book Review Online, (May, 2003), Ros Pesman, review of The Cambridge Companion to Travel Writing.

Intellect Books Web site, (June 30, 2004), Mary Baine Campbell, review of Writing and Race.*

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