I am Associate Professor of History at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. I joined AUS after a six-year tenure at Gulf University for Science and Technology. I grew up in Rimini, in northern Italy, and I graduated in Political Science at the Università degli Studi di Bologna. During my undergraduate years, I had my first exposures to British and North-American academia as an exchange student at University of Sussex in Brighton and York University in Toronto. Little did I know that one day I would look back at those first carefree overseas experiences as the prologue of two decades abroad.
After graduating, in a fit of absence of mind, I found myself completing an MBA program at what is now the Bologna Business School. Unexpectedly, this experience took me once again abroad, this time to the United States. After a little over a year spent in what would be my first and last corporate job, I decided to embark on a doctoral program in history.
At Temple University I had the privilege of working with one of the most prolific Ethiopian historians in North America, and a formidable world historian, who had the patience to mentor me extensively in the teaching of world history. I also benefited from coursework at the now defunct African Studies Center and the mentorship of its generous director, who inspired me to develop many of the scholarly interests that still guide my research agenda.
While completing my graduate work, I was also lucky to begin my academic career in earnest with full time visiting positions at Rowan University and Dickinson College: by the time I defended my dissertation, I had already taught over twenty courses in World and African history.
My teaching experience served me well in Kuwait, where I taught for the following six years and where I also served as Head of Department for two academic years. After applying for the position at Gulf University for Science and Technology out of curiosity, imagining a stay of no more than a couple of years, I found myself increasingly at home in the Gulf.
In 2016, I moved to the United Arab Emirates to join the faculty of American University of Sharjah’s Department of International Studies. Twenty years abroad, and counting.