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P.M. Forni

Maryland, USA
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Civility Expert

Professor of Italian Literature, Johns Hopkins University

Author of best-seller, "Choosing Civility" (2003)

A native of Italy, P.M. Forni is a Professor of Italian Literature at Johns Hopkins University, where he heads the Civility Initiative and where he has been recognised with awards for outstanding teaching.

He has published widely on Italian literary icon Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-75). In 1997 he co-founded the Johns Hopkins Civility Project, an aggregate of academic and community outreach activities aimed at assessing the importance of manners, civility and politeness in contemporary societies. In 2000 he founded the Civility Initiative at Johns Hopkins. Professor Forni was a Fellow at Villa I Tatti, the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence. Also in Florence, he directed the academic program of the Charles S. Singleton Center for Italian Renaissance Studies at Villa Spelman.

His book “Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct” (St. Martin’s Press, 2003) has sold more than 100,000 copies. It has been called a “simple, practical, perfectly measured, and quietly magical handbook on the lost art of civility and compassion”, and was featured on Oprah. His most recent book is “The Civility Solution: What To Do When People Are Rude” (St. Martin’s Press, 2010). Recommended as a “fabulous book” by Peggy Post, director of the Emily Post Institute, it is a thoughtful and practical discussion of the importance of civility in today’s hectic world.

Our Comment

"Dr. Forni’s work has been mentioned by numerous publications including The New York Times, The Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and Forbes Magazine. He has been interviewed on several high profile radio and televisions shows, including the ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS Sunday Morning, The Gayle King Show, BBC’s Outlook, and Oprah. Dr. Forni’s contribution to the civility movement that started in the United States at the turn of the millennium is featured in Benet Davetian’s Civility: A Cultural History (2009). In a profile which appeared in 2008, Smithsonian magazine stated that P.M. Forni “will be remembered as one of the greatest generals in our nation's struggle for civility.”"

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