Early modern Italy & Continental Europe, especially social & economic history
Francesca Trivellato is a historian of early modern Europe and the Mediterranean whose interests revolve around a broad set of questions about the organization and the culture of the market place in the pre-industrial world.
She received her BA from the University of Venice, Italy (1995), a PhD in economic and social history from the Luigi Bocconi University in Milan (1999), and a PhD in history from Brown University (2004). She is a recipient of fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Institute for Advanced Study, the American Academy in Berlin, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
Her The Familiarity of Strangers: The Sephardic Diaspora, Livorno, and Cross-Cultural Trade in the Early Modern Period (Yale University Press, 2009) won the 2010 AHA Leo Gershoy Award for the most outstanding work published in English on any aspect of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century European history; was the co-winner of the Jordan Schnitzer Book Award for the best book in Early Modern and Modern Jewish History published in English between 2006 and 2010; and was selected for the long list of the 2010 Cundill Prize in History.
An earlier book examined the transformation of Venetian glass manufacturing in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries with regard to changes in the history of technology, craft guilds, women’s labor, and colonial trade: Fondamenta dei Vetrai: Lavoro, tecnologia e mercato a Venezia tra Sei e Settecento (Rome: Donzelli, 2000).
Other topics addressed in recent writings include maritime and commercial law, Renaissance Italy and the Muslim Mediterranean, microhistory, and global history.
She is completing a book on the images of Jews in European literature on commerce, tentatively entitled The Promise and Peril of Credit: A Forgotten Legend About Jews, Finance, and the Making of European Commercial Society. It examines the surprising twists and turns of a baseless yet influential narrative according to which medieval Jews fleeing France invented marine insurance and bills of exchange, the two key instruments of European commercial credit at the time.
She is also designing a digital platform for the analysis and visualization of the longest and most homogenous series of business contracts from pre-industrial Europe: roughly 5,000 limited partnerships (accomandite) registered in Florence from 1445 to 1808.