The first rule of Fight Club is …

Olivia Burgess

(Photo by B.A. Rupert)

According to Olivia Burgess, assistant teaching professor of English and technical communication, the first rule of Fight Club is that we are driven by our own personal utopian ideas, regardless if they end up creating dystopia.

For those who are discontent, the easiest way to change reality might be to change personal appearances. Think of tattoos, hair styles and plastic surgery. That’s where Fight Club comes in. “When you get punched in the face and you’re bleeding, life gets real pretty fast,” says Burgess, whose article, “Revolutionary Bodies in Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club,” has been accepted for publication in the journal Utopian Studies.
Burgess says a real or at least updated utopia isn’t a “perfect” state where change is no longer possible. In many ways, if you subscribe to her theories, anarchy is the new utopia.
All of this might be part of what is driving various revolutions, including the Arab Spring, the Tea Party and the Occupy movements. Those “revolutions” might start out as utopian in theory, but dystopia is always a lurking companion, moving constantly like a shark. In the film version of the novel, the story takes a turn from the personal struggles of Fight Club to something called Project Mayhem, a structured attempt to destroy entire financial districts.
“We live in a world where change doesn’t seem very possible,” Burgess says. “A lot of people feel that frustration.”
In print
Designing Texts: Teaching Visual Communication by Kathryn Northcut, associate professor of English and technical communication.
BOUND TO BELEM by James J. Bogan Jr., Curators’ Teaching Professor of arts, languages and philosophy.
New World Irish: Notes on One Hundred Years of Lives and Letters in American Culture by Jack Morgan, research professor emeritus of English and technical communication.

Around the Puck

Q&A: Miners got game

What was the most memorable sports team during your time on campus? As part of his research for the S&T 150th history book, Larry Gragg, Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor emeritus of history and political science, asked you to share your memories. Here are a few of your answers.

[Read More...]

Honoring new academy members

In October, 12 alumni and friends were inducted into Missouri S&T academies. Academy membership recognizes careers of distinction and invites members to share their wisdom, influence and resources with faculty and students. Some academies hold induction ceremonies in the fall, others in the spring.

[Read More...]

Boosting cyber-physical security

A wide array of complex systems that rely on computers — from public water supply systems and electric grids to chemical plants and self-driving vehicles — increasingly come under not just digital but physical attacks. Bruce McMillin, professor and interim chair of computer science at Missouri S&T, is looking to change that by developing stronger safeguards […]

[Read More...]

MXene discovery could improve energy storage

In spite of their diminutive size, 2-D titanium carbide materials known as MXenes are “quite reactive” to water, a discovery S&T researchers say could have implications for energy storage and harvesting applications such as batteries, supercapacitors and beyond. Their findings were published in 2018 in the American Chemical Society journal Inorganic Chemistry.

[Read More...]

A faster charge for electric vehicles

One drawback of electric vehicles (EVs) is the time it takes to charge them. But what if you could plug in your EV and fully charge it as quickly as it takes to fill up a conventional car with gasoline? Missouri S&T researchers, in collaboration with three private companies, are working to make speedy charging […]

[Read More...]