宾州中央谷. — Films like “The Godfather” and “Goodfellas” have created indelible stereotypes about those involved in 有组织犯罪. 今年夏天, 19 Penn State students learned the real history behind the Mafia during “Organized Crime in Film and Society,“ a three-week course taught on site in different locations in Palermo and Rome, 意大利.
黛布拉Dreisbach, assistant teaching professor and criminal justice program coordinator at 十大网赌靠谱网址平台, organized and led the students on an immersive journey through Palermo and Rome into the fascinating underworld of 有组织犯罪. As 有组织犯罪 can trace its roots to Palermo in the 19th century, the city was a natural starting point for the students’ immersive experience.
“We had classroom space at the University of Palermo and Temple Rome. 它给了学生们一个完全不同的视角, 更具有全球视野, 论有组织犯罪,德赖斯巴赫说.
Students were required to watch American Mafia films, 进行场景分析和讨论, and applied the content they learned and how the Mafia is depicted in American film to the reality of these crime figures. Dreisbach found an expert in both American and Italian film who came in to speak to the class.
德赖斯巴赫原本计划在2019年开设这门课, but travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic put the trip on hold.
“Penn State 全球 graciously sent me to 意大利 so I could plan this — setting up appointments, 行程安排,德赖斯巴赫说. “所有的合伙人都陪了我四年. I had Italian professors teaching, so that was really interesting.”
Highlights of the trip included a three-hour walking tour of Palermo. Among many significant moments in the city’s history, Palermo was the site of a student-led protest against 有组织犯罪 nearly 40 years ago.
“Businesses have to pay protection money to keep their doors open,德赖斯巴赫说. “We went on a walking tour of the city to learn how that arrangement came to be.”
周游美国.S. Embassy in Rome was another once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“I had done protection work, so I’d been to the embassy, but it had moved,德赖斯巴赫说. “这可能是我们参加过的最好的旅行之一. 他们解释了他们(在大使馆)的工作。, 特工们都干了些什么, 甚至是挂在那里的每一件意大利艺术品.”
The group also was present for the annual commemoration of two Italian judges, Borcelino and Falconi. The two were assassinated by the Mafia and are considered heroes in many parts of 意大利. Their tragic end is recognized and honored each year.
学生们从早上8点开始上课.m. until noon each day; the afternoons and evenings were free.
“I thought it was important to immerse them in the culture,德赖斯巴赫说. “学生们发现了一些我不知道的东西. They navigated the bus and train systems by themselves, they looked things up. 他们很善于与人交谈.”
Besides history, students learned about different cultural norms.
“意大利人天生就更有感情, 不太注意个人空间, 我们的学生必须学会如何处理这个问题,德赖斯巴赫说. “It developed their problem-solving skills — if you don’t like something like that, 你如何用专业的方式表达?”
Dreisbach’s goal was to bring the course content alive for the students.
“I tried to bring it to life and get them out to experience things rather than have them sit in a classroom all the time,”她说。. For example, the group met with an agency that only does anti-Mafia investigations. “I tried to find experiences for them they wouldn’t normally have.”
The students captured each day on GoPro cameras to create a memento of their experiences.
“我们有很棒的带有标题和音乐的视频片段, 学生们会写一篇关于他们一天的博客,德赖斯巴赫说. “回家的父母很高兴看到这一幕, and it will be a nice remembrance for the students when they look back on their time at Penn State.”
Afterward, some of the students continued to travel in Europe before returning to the U.S. The students were required to write a reflection after their experience in 意大利.
“I got some cards from the students,德赖斯巴赫说. 有些人说这是他们做过的最好的事情.”
For those interested in being part of the next course, Dreisbach is holding an information session for the spring 2024 session and its travel component, 从2024年5月中旬到6月初, 从12:15到1:30.m. 11月. 9 in Room 320 at 十大网赌靠谱网址平台, as well as streamed via Zoom.