Department Chair, History (co-chair)
Timothy Burke's main field of specialty is modern African history, specifically southern Africa, but he has also worked on U.S. popular culture and on computer games. Professor Burke teaches a wide variety of courses at Swarthmore, including surveys of African history, the environmental history of Africa, the social history of consumption, history of leisure and play, and a cultural history of the idea of the future.
Professor Burke is the author of Lifebuoy Men, Lux Women: Commodification, Consumption and Cleanliness in Modern Zimbabwe (Duke University Press, 1996) and the co-author of Saturday Morning Fever: Growing Up With Cartoon Culture (St. Martin's Griffin, 1999). He is currently completing a book on individual experience and agency in 20th Century Zimbabwe, and has maintained the blog, "Easily Distracted: Culture, Politics, Academia and Other Shiny Objects," since Nov. 2002.