Associate Dean of the Faculty for Academic Programs
Jean-Vincent Blanchard is a specialist in early modern literature and culture; his teaching also includes modern French literature (“La Modernité”), the philosophy and anthropology of literature (“A History of the Five Senses”), and the medical humanities (“Literature and Medicine”). Professor Blanchard has published extensively in his field, including a biography of Cardinal Richelieu titled Éminence: Cardinal Richelieu and the Rise of France (2011). Among many projects, he is preparing a study of the architectonics of power in Louis XIV’s France, as well as a digital, critical, and pedagogical edition of Madame de La Fayette’s La Princesse de Clèves.
Co-Director, Aydelotte Foundation
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, 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. He is 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 2002. He co-directs the Aydelotte Foundation.
Co-Director, Aydelotte Foundation
Associate Professor, English Literature
Rachel Sagner Buurma works on 18th- and 19th-century literature and print culture, the history of the novel, 20-century Anglo-American literary criticism, and literary informatics. Current projects are on the history and theory of literary research, especially practices of knowledge organization like indexing and note-taking, pasts and presents of collaborative work, and the intersection of literary-critical inquiry and information science. With Laura Heffernan, she is at work on a project that retells the history of English literary study from the perspective of the classroom. She co-directs the Aydelotte Foundation.
Associate Professor, Computer Science
My current research interests are in I/O-efficient algorithms (also called out-of-core or external-memory algorithms). On data sets larger than the amount of available internal memory of a computer, the transfer of data between slow hard disks and faster internal memory, not CPU speed, limits computing performance. Working in a theoretical model that mimics this behavior, I am interested in finding efficient ways to solve problems in computational geometry on large data sets. I also look at possible applications in geographic information systems (GIS). The STREAM project page summarizes some contributions by my research group to hi-resolution elevation data analysis and modeling. While my emphasis is on theory, I prefer to develop solutions that are practical enough to implement and be applied. One example of a practical project that I work on is TPIE—a templated, portable I/O environment written in C++ that makes it easier for people to develop I/O-efficient applications.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Art
Before joining the faculty at Swarthmore, Ron Tarver had been a staff photojournalist at The Philadelphia Inquirer where he shares the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for his work on a series documenting school violence in the Philadelphia public school system. He was nominated for three Pulitzers and honored with awards from World Press Photos, the Sigma Delta Chi Award of the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Press Photographers Association/ University of Missouri Pictures of the Year, as well as other national, state, and local honors. Tarver’s work has appeared in National Geographic, Life, Time, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Black and White Magazine, Huffington Post and Hyperallergic. He is co-author of the book We Were There: Voices of African American Veterans, published by Harper Collins in 2004, which was accompanied by a traveling exhibition that debuted at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.
Assistant Professor, Political Science
Jonny Thakkar is an assistant professor of political science as well as one of the founding editors of The Point. After receiving his Ph.D. from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago in 2013, he spent three years at Princeton University as a postdoctoral fellow in the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts and then one year at the University of British Columbia as an assistant professor. His first book, Plato as Critical Theorist, was published by Harvard University Press in spring 2018.