Teaching Palahniuk: The Treasures of Transgression in the Age of Trump and Beyond

Christopher J. Burlingame (Ed.)

by Jeff Ambrose (Indiana University of Pennsylvania), Christopher J. Burlingame (Mount Aloysius College), Andrew Burlingame (Catholic University), David McCracken (Coker University), Rebecca Warshofsky (State University of New York; Binghamton University), Josh Grant-Young (University of Guelph), Nicole Lowman (State University of New York)

Purchase this book
$ 33
Availability: In stock
currency displayed based on your location
(click here to change currency)

While much has been written about Chuck Palahniuk and his body of work, next to nothing has been written about when, where and how it is necessary to teach Palahniuk. This collection will reveal that teaching Palahniuk’s work and the discursive dynamic of the classroom interactions create new opportunities for scholarship by both the faculty member and his or her students. Despite early critical success with ‘Fight Club’, ‘Invisible Monsters’, and ‘Choke’, Palahniuk’s novels are increasingly dismissed for the very transgressive content that makes them essential pedagogical tools in the Age of Trump where “truth isn’t truth,” and tribalism is stoked with claims of “fake news”. This collection aims to broaden the scholarship by examining under-represented and unrepresented works from his oeuvre and situating them in the context of their pedagogical implications. In both form and content, the transgressive nature of Palahniuk’s work demands critical thought and reflection, capacities that are necessary for the preservation of a democratic society.

Contributors take various approaches to address what students can learn about writing, literature, and society by reading and analyzing Palahniuk’s texts. The collection will discuss the value of teaching Palahniuk, innovations and various disciplinary contexts for teaching his works, and reflections on some of those pedagogical opportunities. Through its multi-faceted discussion of Palahniuk and pedagogy, this collection will legitimize efforts to bring his work onto syllabi and into the classroom, where it can enhance student engagement, create new avenues for inter-disciplinary scholarship, and re-invigorate an expansion of the canon. It will also provide diverse frameworks for incorporating and interpreting Palahniuk’s writing across disciplines. Finally, the collection will offer post-mortems from faculty members who have found the “guts” to teach Palahniuk and will offer insight into what students have gained and stand to gain from a more intensive Palahniuk pedagogy.

Introduction: Trash, Treasure, Transgression and Teaching Chuck Palahniuk
Christopher Burlingame
Mount Aloysius College

Chapter 1 Making it New: Teaching Multimedia Research through the Man-i-Verse
Christopher Burlingame
Mount Aloysius College

Chapter 2 Brodentity: Teaching Masculinity through Fight Club
Jeff Ambrose
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Chapter 3 Teaching Creative Writing, Literary Theory, and Critical Race Theory with Palahniuk
Nicole Lowman
State University of New York

Chapter 4 “Another obsolete truth”: Narrative and Construct in Chuck Palahniuk’s Rant
Rebecca Warshofsky
State University of New York

Chapter 5 The Laughter of the Dead: Theorizing Noise, Trauma, and Incantation in Palahniuk’s Lullaby
Josh Grant-Young
University of Guelph

Chapter 6 Gut-Check: The Risks of Defining and Re-Defining Capital “L” Literature as an Adjunct
Christopher Burlingame
Mount Aloysius College

Chapter 7 Cassie Wright, Stormy Daniels, and #MeToo: Teaching Chuck Palahniuk’s Snuff as a Response to Heteropatriarchy
David McCracken
Coker University

Chapter 8 The United States of Caucasia: Teaching Palahniuk in the Classroom to Raise Awareness of the Dangers of White Anxiety in America
Andrew Burlingame
Catholic University


Dr. Christopher Burlingame is the writing consultant and study skills specialist at Mount Aloysius College where he also teaches developmental reading and writing, Composition, Literature, and Creative Writing as an adjunct. He earned his Ph.D from Indiana University of Pennsylvania's Literature and Criticism program and his M.F.A in creative writing from Chatham University. In addition to his research on transgressive fiction and pedagogy, he continues to write and submit fiction.

Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club, Transgressive Fiction, Aggressive Fiction, Subversive Literature, Pedagogy, Teaching, Contemporary American Literature

See also

Bibliographic Information

Book Title
Teaching Palahniuk: The Treasures of Transgression in the Age of Trump and Beyond
Number of pages
Physical size
236mm x 160mm
Publication date
September 2022