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Dr Tory Young

Associate Professor
Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Humanities and Social Sciences
Areas of Expertise:
Research Supervision:
Courses taught:

Tory is an Associate Professor of English Literature, Course Leader for the MA: English Literature. She teaches 20th and 21st-century literature and has additional research interests in feminist and queer theories of narrative, life-writing, Writing and Wellbeing, and Writing in the Disciplines.

[email protected]


Since completing her PhD on Joseph Conrad and Virginia Woolf in 1996, Tory's research in modernism has focused on women writers including Nancy Cunard, Hope Mirrlees and Jean Rhys. She held the first conference on Nancy Cunard at Anglia Ruskin in 2001, and co-organised the first on Jean Rhys in 2010.

More recently, Tory has written on contemporary writers, especially those who have engaged with modernism, such as Ali Smith and Colm Tóibín. In 2013, she received a small grant from the British Academy to begin a project on The Future of Feminist Narratology, on which she organised a symposium in October 2013. This led to a special edition of Textual Practice with an introduction: "Futures for Feminist and Queer Narratology" and an essay "Invisibility and Power in the Digital Age: Issues for Feminist and Queer Narratology", which has also been published as a book: Queer and Feminist Theories of Narrative (Routledge, 2021).

Tory's upcoming projects are about ageing, intergenerational friendships, writing and wellbeing, the relationship between immersion and literary form. She regularly interviews authors at Waterstones in Cambridge (including Nick Bradley, Annie Garthwaite, Anna Hope, Gill Hornby, Deborah Levy, Elvin James Mensah, Sarah Moss, and Libby Page).

September 2021 saw the start of A Life Written, a collaborative project for Older People with the National Centre for Writing. You can watch a short film made by one of the participants on YouTube. In subsequent iterations of A Life Written, students from ARU have written moving responses to the work of the elders.

Tory's interest in student writing and academic literacies has run parallel with and is informed by her research into literature. She was a co-director of the HEFCE-funded Speak-Write Project at Anglia Ruskin University, and in 2008 wrote Studying English Literature: A Practical Guide. This book is used in North America, Asia and across the UK as a set text for first-year undergraduate literature students.

She is a Senior Fellow of the HEA, and has supervised eight PhDs to completion (including two creative writing projects). Her current supervisory projects include the VC funded PhD into Writing and Wellbeing.

Research interests
  • Queer and feminist theories of narrative
  • 21st Century love stories (including popular women’s fiction, literary fiction and life-writing)
  • Modernism (including Nancy Cunard and Hope Mirrlees)
  • Life-Writing
  • Writing and Wellbeing
  • Writing in the Disciplines/academic literacies/student writing
Areas of research supervision
  • Modernism
  • Contemporary fiction
  • Narrative Theory
  • Feminism
  • Creative writing
  • Writing and Wellbeing
  • PhD Conrad, Woolf and the Visual Arts, University of Newcastle
Memberships, editorial boards
  • British and Irish Association for Narrative Studies
  • International Society for the Study of Narrative (ISSN)
  • Modernist Studies Association (MSA)
  • Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP)
Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange
  • The Future of Feminist Narratology, British Academy, 2013
Selected recent publications

Young, T., 2023. What’s to-day? Politics and Typography in Ali Smith’s Decade. In: Tew, P. et al (eds). The 2010s: A Decade of Contemporary British Fiction. London: Bloomsbury.

Young, T., ed. 2021. Queer and Feminist Theories of Narrative. London: Routledge.

Young, T., 2018. Invisibility and power in the digital age: issues for feminist and queer narratology. Textual Practice, 32 (6): pp.991-1006.

Young, T., 2018. Futures for feminist and queer narratology. Textual Practice, 32 (6): pp.913-921.

Young, T., 2015. “Love and the Imagination Are Not Gendered Things”: An Interview with Ali Smith. Contemporary Women's Writing, 9 (1): pp.131-148.

Young, T., 2014. You-niversal Love: Desire, Intimacy and the Second-Person in Ali Smith’s Short Fiction. In: Leggett, B. and Venezia, A. (Eds.), 2014. Twenty-First Century British Fiction: Critical Essays. Canterbury: Gylphi. pp.293-312.

Young, T., 2014. Brooklyn as the 'untold story' of 'Eveline': Reading Joyce and Tóibín with Ricoeur. Journal of Modern Literature, 37(2), pp.123-40.

Young, T., 2012. Myths of Passage: Paris and Parallax. In: Joannou, M. (Ed.), 2012. The History of British Women’s Writing, 1920-1945. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan. pp.275-90.

Baxter, J., Snaith, A., and Young, T., 2012. Reading Jean Rhys. Women: A Cultural Review, 23(4).

Young, T., 2009. Nancy Cunard’s Black Man White Ladyship as Surrealist Tract. In: Hackett, R., Hauser, F.S. and Wachman, G. (Eds.). At Home and Abroad in the Empire: British Women Write the 1930s. Neward, DE: University of Delaware Press. pp.96-118.

Young, T., 2008. Studying English Literature: A Practical Guide. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. There is also a 2009 South Asian reprint edition.

Young, T., 2003. Michael Cunningham’s The Hours. London and New York: Continuum. One chapter of this book has been translated into Japanese as Young, T., 2006. The Hours and Mrs Dalloway. In: Kubota, N. 2006. Reading English Masterpieces: Mrs Dalloway. Kyoto, Japan: Minerva Press.

Recent presentations and conferences


Rereading Bibliotherapy roundtable, Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP), 26-29 June 2023.

The Future of Feminist Narratology, Anglia Ruskin University, 12 October 2013.

Reading Jean Rhys, King’s College London, 7 July 2010. Co-organised with Jeannette Baxter and Anna Snaith.

Writing in the Disciplines, Anglia Polytechnic University, 12 April 2002.

Nancy Cunard, Anglia Polytechnic University, 10 November 2001.