Bertoti Conference

The Brian Bertoti Innovative Perspectives in History Graduate Research Conference

Since 1998 HGSA has organized a conference annually for graduates students in history from VT and from other MA and PhD programs. Our conference is an opportunity to share graduate research projects in a supportive, professional environment, and a chance to network with your future colleagues.

The conference is named after a former student who sparked interest among his peers to create a venue for public presentation of student research. Brian Bertoti died before planning for the first conference was completed. The conference name acknowledges his interest in studying the past and his commitment to sharing that study with others.

The conference is a major undertaking and all HGSA members play a role – hosting invited keynote speakers; inviting papers and creating conference panels; attending to local arrangements; advertising the events; and soliciting funds to cover conference expenses.

Our 22nd Anniversary Conference:  March 29-30, 2019

View and download our Call for Papers. Feel free circulate widely! 

The 22nd Annual Brian Bertoti Innovative Perspectives in History Graduate Conference will be March 29 and 30, 2019. You can view the program here!


Brian Bertoti Award

Each year, HGSA acknowledges the best paper presented at the conference with the Brian Bertoti Award for Outstanding Historical Scholarship. To be considered for this award, participants must submit their paper at presentation length (roughly 10 pages) to the Awards Committee by January 21st, 2019. The paper selected for the best paper prize will represent exemplary scholarship, innovative methods, and unique perspectives in the historical discipline.  

Conference Speakers

Malinda Maynor Lowery, Director of the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, will present our keynote address on Friday, March 29. Dr. Lowery is an associate professor of history at UNC, where she focuses on political and social history, especially from non-traditional viewpoints, and studies wide-ranging topics, including historical geography, identity, documentary film and oral history, and Native American history. She received her AB in history and literature from Harvard in 1995, an MA in documentary film production in 1997 from Stanford and another in history in 2002 from UNC-Chapel Hill, and her PhD in history from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2005. Dr. Lowery’s work has been published widely in journals such as American Indian Quarterly, as well as in books, including her own Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South: Race, Identity, and the Making of a Nation (UNC Press, 2010), and numerous documentary films and series. Her most recent book The Lumbee Indians: An American Struggle, was released by UNC Press on September 10, 2018.

Michael R. Fischbach, professor of modern Middle Eastern  history at Randolph-Macon College, will deliver the luncheon address on Saturday, March 30. Dr. Fishbach  completed his BA in history at Northwestern University in 1980, his MA in Arab Studies at Georgetown University in 1986, and his PhD in history at Georgetown in 1992. He serves as a consultant or expert witness in projects with the United Nations Development Programme, Library of Congress, Institute for Palestine Studies, Adam Smith Institute, Rabbis for Human Rights, Haqal, and many other organizations. Dr. Fischbach has authored several books, including State, Society, and Land in Jordan (Brill, 2000), Jewish Property Claims Against Arab Countries (Columbia University Press, 2008) for which he won Second Prize of the British-Kuwait Friendship Society Book Prize for Middle Eastern Studies, and Records of Dispossession: Palestinian Refugee Property and the Arab-Israeli Conflict (Columbia University Press, 2003), which was also translated into Arabic (Philadelphia University, 2010). He has also written many articles and been involved in writing and editing encyclopedias such as Encyclopedia of the Palestinians, 3rd edition, which he co-edited with Philip Mattar. His forthcoming book Black Power and Palestine: Transnational Countries of Color will be published by Stanford University Press in 2018.