Philosophy speaker to discuss themes in ‘Fight Club’

Brooke Schwartz, Administration Reporter

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Guest philosophy speaker Vernon Cisney will look at the themes beyond perceived masculinity in the movie Fight Club at 5 p.m. Oct.10 in the Doudna Lecture Hall.

Cisney is an Eastern philosophy alumnus who is currently working at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania.

To prepare for the speech, the Philosophy club is showing the movie at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Coleman Hall room 3752. Popcorn will provided.

It is not necessary to see the movie before the speech on Tuesday, philosophy department chair Jonelle DePetro said.

DePetro said Cisney’s focus on creating programs for student audiences and his connections to Eastern and Mattoon make him a clear choice for a speaker.

When DePetro had Cisney as a student, he was hardworking and showed a passion for philosophy, she said.

Cisney will be arguing against what most viewers of Fight Club see as the motif of the movie: the aggressive masculinity and white male angst, according to the event write up.

She said she hopes students who attend will achieve a new way to look at philosophy and art past their implications in the film.

“I hope they’ll (the students) get an understanding of how philosophy engages with things like film and art and literature, because philosophy is there and I think philosophy is sort of mysterious to students because it’s not something they have in high school,” DePetro said. “They’re not exposed to philosophy and then they don’t really have a good understanding of what philosophy is.”

This lecture has been made possible by the Jack and Margaret Redden Fund Grant, a grant that goes toward improving undergraduate instruction, DePetro said.

DePetro said that philosophy is connected to more subjects than students generally think of, and she hopes that that is something students will get out of this presentation.

“I hope students learn that you can engage with philosophy in ways that you might not expect,” DePetro said.

This club is for every type of student, philosophy club president Rebecca Horan said.

“Philosophy club is a space for people to go and discuss important questions, and so anyone looking to have that sort of outlet would be a good fit,” Horan said.

The club meets at 7:30 p.m. every other Tuesday in Coleman Hall room 3752.

The next meeting is Oct. 17.

Another guest speaker is planned to present his experience in the Warsaw ghetto in Nazi Poland and how it affected the rest of his life.

This meeting will feature vegan food, to go with the speaker’s choice to turn away from animal cruelty after his experiences, DePetro said.

Brooke Schwartz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]