Dr Michael David Barbezat

Research Fellow
Medieval and Early Modern Studies

Dr Michael Barbezat

Areas of expertise: medieval and early modern history; medieval European religious, intellectual, and cultural history; history of Christianity; history of emotions; history of sexuality; medieval heresy; magic; medieval ideas of the afterlife; and medieval devotional cultures

HDR Supervisor accreditation status: Full

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-8795-1148

Phone: +61 3 9230 8395

Email: michael.barbezat@acu.edu.au

Location: ACU Melbourne Campus

Born in the United States, Dr Michael Barbezat moved to Canada to earn his PhD at the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. After Toronto, he held a research fellowship at the ARC Centre for the History of Emotions at the University of Western Australia in Perth. His research on medieval intellectual and religious history examines the ideologies and assumptions that justified and encouraged persecution during the Middle Ages. Michael’s work has examined the convergencies of discourses regarding sexuality, heresy, demonology, and theology in the writings of medieval churchmen. His first book, Burning Bodies: Communities, Eschatology, and the Punishment of Heresy in the Middle Ages, was published in late 2018. He is currently working on a second book, Questioning the Dead in the Middle Ages, which explores the methods medieval people used to speak with the dead as guides for our modern interrogation of the past.

Select publications

  • 2018 Burning Bodies: Communities, Eschatology, and the Punishment of Heresy in the Middle Ages. (Cornell University Press).

Edited volumes

  • (2019) Michael D. Barbezat and Anne M. Scott. Fluid Bodies: Rethinking Expressions of Bodies and Their Fluids in Pre-Modern Literature, Theology, and Art.  (Arc Humanities Press).
Journal articles
  • (Forthcoming) “An Herb for Speaking to the Dead: The Magical and Liturgical Life of Hyssop in the Latin Middle Ages.” Church History.
  • (Forthcoming) “Converse with the Dead as a Technology of the Self: Agreements to Return from the Otherworld in Peter of Cornwall’s Book of Revelations.Journal of Medieval History.
  • (2018) "He Doubted That These Things Actually Happened': Knowing the Other World in the Tractatus de Purgatorio sancti Patricii." History of Religions 57.4, 321-347.
  • (2016) "Bodies of Spirit and Bodies of Flesh: The Significance of the Sexual Practices Attributed to Heretics from the Eleventh to the Fourteenth Century." Journal of the History of Sexuality 25.3, 387-419.
  • (2014) "The Fires of Hell and the Burning of Heretics in the Accounts of the Executions at Orleans in 1022." Journal of Medieval History 40.4, 399-420.
  • (2013) "In a Corporeal Flame: The Materiality of Hellfire Before the Resurrection in Six Latin Authors." Viator 44.3, 1-20.


  • (2019) The Corporeal Orientation: A Medieval and Early Modern Framework for Understanding Deviance Through the Object(s) of Love." In The Routledge History of Emotions in Europe: 1100-1700, edited by Susan Broomhall and Andrew Lynch, 119-132 (Routledge). 
  • (2019) "Augustine on the Flesh of the Resurrection Body in the De fide et symbolo: Origen, Manicheanism, and Augustine's Developing Thought Regarding Human Physical Perfection." In Fluid Bodies: Rethinking Expressions of Bodies and Their Fluids in Pre-Modern Literature, Theology, and Art, edited by Michael D. Barbezat and Anne M. Scott, 175-192 (Arc Humanities Press).
  • (2019) "Desire for Complete Enjoyment: The Use of the Latin Affectus in Hugh of St. Victor's De archa Noe." In Before Emotion: The Language of Feeling, 400-1800, edited by Juanita Feros Ruys, Michael Champion, and Kirk Essary 76-85. (Routledge).
  • (2019) "A Conjuration of Patrick: A Legacy of Doubt and Imagining in Hamlet." In Hamlet and Emotions,  Paul Megna, Bríd Phillips, and R. S. White,  41-59. (Palgrave Macmillan).

Appointments and affiliations

  • 2019-Present: Research Fellow, Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne
  • 2018-2019: Honorary Research Fellow, University of Western Australia
  • 2015-2018: Postdoctoral Fellow (Research Associate), Centre for the History of Emotions, University of Western Australia, Perth

Editorial roles

  • 2021–Present: Society for the History of Emotions (SHE) Council Ordinary Member
  • 2015-2018: Local Editorial Board, Parergon: Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies.

Accolades and awards

  • 2017: Nomination: 2017 UWA Faculty of Arts Teaching and Service Award
  • 2008-2013: University of Toronto Fellowship

Public engagement

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