Skip to main content

Timothy Burke


Department Chair, History (co-chair)



  2. Phone: (610) 328-8115
  3. Trotter Hall 206
  4. Office Hours: Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., 2-4 p.m.
Timothy Burke

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.

Professor Burke on the 'net

If you ever want to read new things by Professor Burke, he does have a Twitter presence and a blog. Join the conversation there!

Professor Burke's blog: Easily Distracted.

Professor Burke on Twitter