News & Events
Professor and Chair,
Department of History, IPFW
Academician, Albanian Academy of Sciences
"Albanian Authoritarian Leaders: Have We Seen the Last of Them?"
Tuesday, April 27, 2010, 7:30 p.m.
Neff Hall, Room 101
Bernd Fischer is a Balkan scholar and expert on Albania, a country once regarded as one of the most closed societies in Europe. Having researched and written about this part of the world for more than 30 years, his work has helped Albanians re-evaluate their understanding of their national history.
Fischer received his Ph.D., MA, and BA in history with an emphasis on the Balkans from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He has taught at Central Michigan University, the University of Western Ontario, McGill University, the University of Hartford, and IPFW.
In 2007 Fischer became a special advisor to the Albanian Royal Court, which requested his help to define a role for the royal family in the context of a republic. In 2006, he was elected to the Albanian Academy of Science, the country’s most prestigious intellectual and scientific institution. He is consulted routinely by government agencies to analyze the current political climate in the Balkan region and has worked with the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (United Kingdom), the Immigration and Refugee Board, Research Directorate (Canada), and the Ministry of Education (Kosova).
He serves as an expert witness on current country conditions in the western Balkans in various US Federal Immigration Courts and before numerous Immigration Boards in Canada. He also is a frequent contributor to national and international media including the New York Times, Voice of America, and BBC World Service. Locally, Fischer serves as Director of the Fort Wayne International Affairs Forum.
Fischer’s scholarship is extensive. He has conducted archival research in the United States and in many European countries focusing on topics related to the western Balkans in the 19th and 20th centuries. The result of this work includes a number of books, translated into Albanian and other languages, among them King Zog and the Struggle for Stability in Albania (1984), Albania at War, 1939–1945 (1999,) which was designated as a “Fundamental Work of Albanian Studies” by the Albanian Ministry of Education and Science, Albanian Identities, History and Myth (co-editor and co-author, 2002) and Balkan Strongmen: Dictators and Authoritarian Rulers of Southeastern Europe (editor and co-author, 2007). He is author of over 10 book chapters and 20 articles published in the United States and Europe and more than 60 professional papers, including keynote presentations for conferences, congresses, and meetings in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe.
In the classroom, Fischer teaches from his research, not just from textbooks, using videos, photos, and artifacts from his visits to Balkan countries and interaction with Balkan journalists, intellectuals and politicians. He sees himself as committed: “I love teaching, involving, and encouraging my students.”