Professor Michael Fischbach, Ph.D.
R-MC Professor Michael Fischbach, Ph.D. (history)
recently learned that his book, Jewish Property Claims Against Arab Countries
(Columbia University Press, 2008), received one of two second-prize awards
in the British-Kuwait Friendship Society Book Prize that the British Society for
Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) administers annually. BRISMES is the main academic
association in the UK dedicated to the study of the Middle East.
“I join the Randolph-Macon College community in congratulating Dr. Fischbach on
this distinguished award,” said R-MC President Robert R. Lindgren. “His scholarly
work and his commitment to the college make Dr. Fischbach eminently qualified to
receive this honored book prize. This recognition clearly shows the world-wide scope
of his work.”
A total of 33 books were submitted for the prize; one received first prize, two
shared the second prize and six garnered honorable mention. All of the books were
first assessed by professional reviewers and then by a respected panel of judges.
One of the judges was Shaykh Mubarak Abdullah Mubarak Al-Sabah, a senior member
of the Kuwaiti ruling family. Sir Harold Walker, president of BRISMES and chair
of the book prize's panel of judges, presented the awards on July 4, 2009, at the
BRISMES annual conference at the Manchester Museum in Manchester, England.
BRISMES’s published announcement lauds Fischbach's work and noted, “While the author
demonstrates an acute awareness of history and politics he remains dispassionate
in his analysis.” A reviewer said of the book, "Professor Fischbach's examination
of Jewish property claims against Arab countries is an exemplary example of original
scholarship that is solidly based in archival research and takes into account the
relevant secondary literature. Given its focus on primary sources, this is ground-breaking
work analysis. His work is of great significance in relation to the compensation
questions that could arise in any final Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement, and
it has eminently practical implications.”
Fischbach, who joined the faculty at Randolph-Macon College in 1992, earned his
B.A. at Northwestern University and his M.A. and Ph.D. at Georgetown University.
During his tenure at R-MC, he has received numerous awards. In 1995 he received
the Thomas Branch Award for Excellence in Teaching from Randolph-Macon College.
In 2000-2001 he received a grant from The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
and in 2003-2004 he received a United States Institute of Peace Grant.
In 2004 Fischbach received an Honorable Mention from the first annual Benjamin L.
Hooks Outstanding Book Award Contest for Records of Dispossession: Palestinian Refugee
Property and the Arab-Israeli Conflict (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003;
Cairo: American University of Cairo Press, 2004). In both 1999 and 2007, Fischbach
received a Rashkind Endowment Grant from Randolph-Macon College, and in 1994, 1996,
2002, 2006 and 2008 he received a Walter W. Craigie Teaching Endowment Grant from
Randolph-Macon College. In 1996 and 2008 he received a Maurice L. Mednick Memorial
Fellowship from the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges.
Fischbach’s book was written with support from a Walter W. Craigie Teaching Endowment
Grant and a Rashkind Endowment Grant, both of which are mentioned in the book’s