Photo of James Burns, recently appointed interim associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities.

James M. Burns, a professor and chair of the department of history and geography, has been appointed the interim associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

CLEMSON – James M. Burns has been appointed the interim associate dean for academic affairs in Clemson University’s College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities.

A professor and chair of the department of history and geography, Burns is the acting associate dean for academic affairs. He will begin his yearlong appointment as interim associate dean on Jan. 1, 2020.

“James Burns is a passionate educator, a respected scholar and a valued peer among the faculty,” said Timothy R. Boosinger, interim dean of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. “He has embraced his new leadership role, and I am pleased that he will continue to serve the college for the next year.”

Burns earned his Ph.D. in history from the University of California at Santa Barbara after earning degrees in history at UCLA and Cambridge University. He began teaching at Clemson in 1999, advanced to full professor in 2012 and was appointed chair of the history department in 2015. He also teaches in the college’s interdisciplinary Pan African Studies program.

A specialist in African history and the social history of film, he was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to Zimbabwe in 1995.

Burns is the author of “Flickering Shadows: Cinema and Identity in Colonial Zimbabwe,” which was named an outstanding academic title for 2002 by Choice magazine. His other books include “Cinema and Society in the British Empire, 1895-1940” and the second edition of “A History of Sub-Saharan Africa” (Cambridge University Press), which he co-authored with Robert O. Collins.

He also has published many articles and book chapters about the intersections of film and colonial history in Africa and the British Empire.

At Clemson University, Burns was awarded the University Research, Scholarship and Artistic Achievement Award in 2019. He is a past recipient of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities teaching award, its Creativity Professorship and the John B. and Thelma A. Gentry Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities.

Burns succeeded Lee Morrissey as the interim associate dean in October. Morrissey, a professor of English and the founding director of the Humanities Hub, served in the role after Constancio Nakuma was promoted to associate provost for Academic Affairs at Clemson University in 2018.