Federico Barbierato obtained his History BA at Venice Università Ca’ Foscari in March 1997, with a thesis concerning the circulation of prohibited books in seventeenth and eighteenth-century Venice, under the combined supervision of professors Mario Infelise and Giorgio Politi. During the same year he obtained a grant from the Fondazione Luigi Einaudi in Turin on a research project devoted to the circulation of manuscripts in early modern Italy. In 2001 he obtained a PhD in “Popoli, culture e confessioni religiose nell’età moderna e contemporanea” at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan with a dissertation on religious non conformism, sects and the circulation of culture in Venice between seventeenth and eighteenth century.
In 2001 he was awarded by the Università Ca’ Foscari a grant for young researchers; from 2002 to 2004 he was post-doctoral fellow of the University of Padua. In 2004 he obtained a three-year research contract (assegno di ricerca) at the University of Verona; since October 2007 he has been lecturer in Early modern history in the same university. From 2016 he is an Associate professor and he teaches both undergraduate courses (Introduzione allo studio della storia and Storia della Repubblica di Venezia) and postgraduate as well (Antropologia storica and Applicazioni informatiche alla ricerca storica).
He obtained in 2017 the scientific qualification for full professor (professore ordinario) in Early modern history (ssd Msto/02).
His research interests concentrate particularly on the history of early modern religious non conformism, analyzed via a multiplicity of approaches inspired not only by religious history, but also by cultural history, as well as the histories of social practice, of censorship and information. These enquiries have led him to study in numerous archives and library in Italy and Europe: his findings allowed him to reconstruct and analyze, in a dynamic and transnational perspective, cultural and religious connections, as well as the networks of political information. Such a mode of analysis has led him to prefer consideration of non institutional forms of dissent and on those doctrines that remained outside defined systems of belief. The latter could be recognized at the stage of individual elaboration, in the interaction between individuals and in the process of transmission and translation: exchanges between the oral and the written and vice versa, linguistic change, appropriations and re-elaborations in diverse contexts.
The output of his work includes three monographic books (The Inquisitor in the Hat Shop. Inquisition, Forbidden Books and Unbelief in Early Modern Venice, Ashgate, Farnham 2012; “La rovina di Venetia in materia de'libri prohibiti". Il libraio Salvatore de' Negri e l'Inquisizione veneziana (1628-1661), Marsilio, Venice 2008; Politici e ateisti. Percorsi della miscredenza a Venezia fra Sei e Settecento, Edizioni Unicopli, Milan 2006; Nella stanza dei circoli. Clavicula Salomonis e libri di magia a Venezia nei secoli XVII-XVIII, Edizioni Sylvestre Bonnard, Milan 2002), the editing of a further volume (Libro e censure, ed. by F. Barbierato, Edizioni Sylvestre Bonnard, Milan 2002), numerous articles published on national and International journals (Società e Storia, Studi storici, Italian Studies etc.) as well as essays included in other academic publications (Annali della Storia d’Italia Einaudi, Les dossiers du Grihl, conference proceedings etc.)
He has discussed the results of his publications and research within the context of seminars and conferences in various Italian and foreign universities and research centres (EHESS, Paris; Oxford University; Leeds University; Université de Genève; EUI and various Italian universities.
He has been visiting professor at the University of Cambridge and at EHESS (Université de Toulouse). Recently he has been appointed as visiting professor at the University of Uppsala for Autumn 2021.
Supervisor of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action Project by Alessandra Celati: “Medicine, Heresy and Freedom of Thought in sixteenth-century Italy: a Network of Dissident Physicians in the Confessional Age – NETDIS”, Università di Verona-Stanford University from 2016 to 2019.
He co-directs four book series: “em-early modern. Studi di storia europea proto moderna” c/o Unicopli of Milan (together with Giorgio Politi); “Chiese e culture religiose” c/o New Digital Press in Palermo (with Marco Cavarzere); Routledge Studies in Early Modern Dssents and Radicalism (with Hannah Marcus, Stefano Villani, Xenia von Tippelskirch) c/o Routledge; "Maelstrom" c/o Unicopli of Milan (together with Francesco Paolo De Ceglia and Piero Scaramella). He has been the coordinator of the Research Group in Early Modern Religious Dissents and Radicalism (EMoDiR) from 2009 to 2018. He is a member of the editorial committee of the journal “Società e Storia”, of www.stmoderna.it, and member of numerous national and international scientific associations.
Attualmente le principali linee di ricerca sono rappresentate dallo studio della possessione in Età moderna e dei fenomeni di blasfemia e dissacrazione nella Repubblica di Venezia.