(Posted March 19, 2012)

Timothy Burke, professor of history at Swarthmore College
Timothy Burke, professor of history at Swarthmore College

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Timothy Burke, professor of history at Swarthmore, College, will speak at Juniata College on "Imperialism as Accident and Improvisation: Three Moments from Modern Africa," at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 20, in Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig Center for Science on the Juniata campus.

The lecture is free and open to the public. The lecture is sponsored by the Delbert McQuaide Lectureship in History.

Burke is a specialist in the history of modern Africa and has an interest in modern imperialism and the nations of South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Burke is considered a cultural historian, and he is well known for his writings on how popular and consumer culture has affected modern Africa. His first book, "Lifebuoy Men, Lux Women: Commodification, Consumption and Cleanliness in Modern Zimbabwe," details how African culture and economic behavior has been changed by the spread of manufactured products and rising consumerism.

His views on consumer culture extend to the United States as well, as evidenced by another book he co-wrote with his brother, Kevin Burke, called "Saturday Morning Fever: Growing Up with Cartoon Culture."

Burke is currently researching a book on the comparative biographies of three Zimbawean chiefs.

Burke came to Swarthmore in 1994 as an assistant professor. He earned a bachelor's degree from Wesleyan University in 1986. He went on to earn a master's degree in 1990 and a doctorate in 1993, both from The Johns Hopkins University.

The Delbert McQuaide Lectureship in History Series was established by Delbert McQuaide, a 1958 Juniata College graduate. He was a senior partner at McQuaide Blasko Law Offices in State College and served as general counsel for Penn State University and the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. He was president of the Centre County Bar Association, and a member of the Pennsylvania, and American Bar Associations and the National Association of College and University Attorneys. McQuaide was a member of the Board of Trustees from 1994 and served as chairman from 1996 until his death in 1997.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.