I am a historian, a writer and an Assistant Professor of Global Politics at Malmö University. Previously, I did research and taught at the University of Copenhagen and also recently lived for two years in Nairobi, Kenya.

I have a Danish-Italian heritage and grew up in Copenhagen with my mother. My family background is artistic. My grandmother, Hanne Bodil Knudsen, was part of the famous Danish poet Jens August Schade circles, with whom she lived for a number of years. She would later meet and marry my grandfather, Børge L. Knudsen, who was a great painter. My grandfather would later dedicate his life studying, auto-didactically, the recreation of the renaissance violin.

In the early 1950s, my grandparents moved to Paris where my mother was born and the family lived in deep material poverty. They later moved to La Gaude, a small village in Provence. My grandparents divorced in the early 1970s and my grandmother returned to Copenhagen with my mom and the majority of her siblings.

I grew up in Nørrebro and Sydhavnen, both traditional working-class neighborhoods in Copenhagen. When I was young, I played football at elite level in Boldklubben Frem, a club with a proud history. As an adult, I educated myself as a children’s football coach and worked as such, voluntarily, until historical research took most of my time. I still write about football as it relates to culture and society.

I have always been politically interested and internationally oriented. From a young age, I engaged in grass root activism. Between 2001 to 2003, when the US (and Denmark) invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, I was active in the anti-war movement. I went on to translate the book from Swedish to Danish and wrote an epilogue. I founded and edited the leftwing intellectual magazine Det Ny Clarté. Today, I am a member of The Council for International Conflict Resolution (RIKO), an independent Danish foreign policy think tank. And I regularly contribute to leading Danish media.

In my professional life, I appreciate my daily journey – via primary sources or the writing of colleagues – to past times and often also to other cultures. The excitement of confirming assumptions or finding support for hypothesis, is only superseded by the dizzying experience of realizing that things are completely different from what I thought. It is this deeper understanding of the present state of contemporary society that drives my work as a historian.

My professional exploits are underpinned and made possible by the love and support of my family, the people with whom I spend most of my private time: my South African wife, who as a researcher is taking a lead in the fight against antimicrobial resistance in the Global South, our daughter, who recently began school and my son, who recently graduated from high school.

I love literature, movies and music, but most of all, I like writing, and when I am not caught up in non-fiction, I am reading fiction and writing on a novel.

All in all, I feel very privileged, because whether I am doing historical research, teaching or engaging in fiction, understanding the world is what motivates me, the quest to explore new paths, the opportunity to create something unique and most importantly, to make a little difference.


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