Swarthmore College

Timothy Burke
Co-Director, Aydelotte Foundation
Professor, History

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.



Rachel Buurma profile image

Rachel Buurma
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.



Desiree Diaz photo

Désirée Díaz
Assistant Professor, Department of Spanish

Désirée Díaz received her Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she also completed her M.A. studies. She also holds a B.A. in Art History from Universidad de La Habana. Professor Díaz specializes in Latin American literature and visual culture with an emphasis in the Hispanic Caribbean. Her research focuses on issues of alternative citizenship, human and cultural geography, diaspora and transnational movements, and the Latino cultural production in the U.S. In addition, she is interested in the fields of visual studies, urban studies, and popular and material cultures.

Professor Díaz has published a number of articles on Cuban cinema and literature in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes, recently contributing to the volume World Film Locations: Havana (Intellect, 2014). She is currently working on a book manuscript based on her dissertation on citizenship participation and urban space in post-Soviet Cuba.

In her native Cuba, Désirée Díaz served as a researcher with the prestigious Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos (ICAIC) and as Assistant Editor of the cultural magazine La Gaceta de Cuba.


Anthony S. Foy
Associate Professor, English Literature and Black Studies

Joining the faculty in 2005, Professor Anthony S. Foy specializes in black literary and cultural history. With ongoing research interests in African American autobiography from Emancipation to the present, his publications have examined the autobiographical construction of black masculinity, the role of Jim Crow-era self-presentation in the production of racial uplift ideologies, and the status of visual paratexts in black autobiography; his current research focuses on race, consumption, and the emergence of black celebrity autobiography in the twentieth century. Besides teaching courses centered on both classic and contemporary African American autobiography, Professor Foy teaches courses in African American fiction, post-Civil Rights black culture, and black cultural studies, as well as the English department’s capstone course for majors.

Professor Foy earned his PhD in American Studies and his MA in African American Studies at Yale; he earned his BA in English at UCLA. He has also received fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.


Cat Norris
Associate Dean of the Faculty for Academic Programs and Research
Associate Professor, Psychology and Neuroscience

Bio coming soon.