Raeleen D’Agostino Mautner, Ph.D.
The wisdom of my Italian heritage has brought me through life’s ups and downs throughout the years. I’ve studied the words of Ancient Roman Philosophers, the creative thinkers of the Renaissance, the vast and numerous contributions that Italy has made to civilization. I have conducted cross-cultural research, and national research on various Italian factors. Equally compelling is the unassuming wisdom of the everyday, hard-working Italians that have graced my life in one way or another throughout the years.
In a time of almost an exaggerated fear of political incorrectness, not a single week seems to go by without Italian Americans being negatively stereotyped. And no one things twice about it—not the Republican debater who calls himself “Veto Corleone”; not the famous filmmaker who feels he must make money on a new wine called “Vendetta” (complete with bullet holes and blood splatterings); not the national sandwich chain that has to introduce a new Italian sub with dummied-down tough talk to someone called Giuseppe; not the recent new acquaintance of mine who asked me casually if I was “connected.”
My goal in writing this blog is twofold:
First, I’d like to introduce you to some ideas, which, through my life’s work, showcase positive Italian American ideas for living well. This is my specialty. You can learn more through my books (see below), my radio show, and through my weekly column in The Italian Tribune. .
Second, I’d like to raise awareness about how negative stereotyping of Italian Americans affects us in very concrete ways: It damages our reputations,puts our jobs and promotions at risk, affects our children’s self-image, and impedes our ability to interact in society without the automatic assumption of criminality that others associate with Italians. I know this, because I receive your mail, and I have seen it myself.
So beyond raising media awareness I encourage Italian Americans, to help me defend our positive image. Remember that raising awareness about negative Italian stereotyping ultimately will raise awareness about wrong it is to paint the individuals of any ethnic or racial group with a broad brush based on the wrongdoings of a few. We can do this by knowing the facts, correcting negative slurs, writing in to companies who produce slanderous adds, and above all ,by setting an example by working hard to do good work, in whatever work we do.
Here is how you can find out more:
RADIO: THE ITALIAN ART OF LIVING WELL is a Radio Show that I host and produce. It is broadcast every Monday morning from 7-8AM. YOU CAN STREAM IN LIVE from anywhere in the world! I bring you great interviews with people who are making a positive impact on others. In addition to Italian American authors, chefs, musicians, and community leaders, I have just added two monthly sessions that I know you will find compelling:
- Dr. Manny Alfano, president/founder of Italian American One Voice will weigh in each month on the latest assaults to the Italian American image
- Linda and Chuck Williams of Burgundy Books (and enthusiasts of my own books), inform us of the latest Italian-themed books, including novels, memoirs, childrens, and cookbooks.
Listen live EVERY MONDAY at 7AM on 88.7fm or stream in to: www.wnhu.net (click on the upper left hand button “listen live”)
FACEBOOK: Feel free to visit both of these pages for articles and info
TWITTER: You can FOLLOW me on Twitter
NEWSPAPER: Enjoy my WEEKLY ADVICE COLUMN in the Italian Tribune. You can also send me your questions and if your letter is chosen for publication I will use a pseudonym so as not to reveal your identity: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Living la Dolce Vita: Bring the Passion, Laughter, and Serenity of Italy into Your Daily Life (Sourcebooks) reveals all you need to know to help you live the sweet-life through the simple traditions of Italy. It reminds us to slow down and learn to make each day a celebration of LIFE. Readers have told me it has turned their lives around and reminded them of what really counts.
Lemons into Limoncello: From Loss to Personal Renaissance with the Zest of Italy (HCI Books) is an Italian cultural perspective on getting through life’s challenges and loss. It has been called “inspiring” and “uplifting”. Some readers have left it on their bedside table when going through tough times, and said that even turning to a random paragraph has helped them get through even their lowest points. I hope it does the same for you.
Both books make great gifts for yourself, or to let someone in your life know how special they are to you. Click on cover to purchase through Amazon.