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The Enchanted Image: The Transforming Imagination of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Through Material Practice and Media Technology

Zhu, Xinwei (2017) The Enchanted Image: The Transforming Imagination of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Through Material Practice and Media Technology. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Lewis Carroll’s story Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was published as an illustrated book in 1865 and has been represented in film since 1903. Existing literary studies regard the Alice story as a work of children’s literature and ignore the materiality of its form. My thesis addresses the question of how the Alice story has been mediated as different images in various forms such as book illustrations, magic lantern presentations, films and stop-motion animations. I argue that these mediations were influenced by contemporaneous material practices and media technologies, and that these mediations, in their various forms, reflected and influenced the public’s imagination regarding the Alice story. My research adopts an interdisciplinary approach to the Alice story, regarding the Alice book as one of many forms through which the story has been presented, and associating literature with other media forms. Chapter One focuses on the illustrations and their relationship to both the literary text and their historical context. Chapter Two brings some magic lantern presentations of the Alice story into discussion with new archival materials, and considers the relationship between the lantern slides, illustration, and cinema. Chapters Three, Four and Five address the images of Alice and Wonderland in cinema, covering photographic images, animation and stop-motion animation. I argue that films provide various images of Alice and Wonderland, and construct new representational relationships between the Alice story, the imagined and reality. By investigating the material history of the Alice story through the case studies covered in my thesis, I conclude that the transformation of the Alice story, from the 1860s to the present day, is closely related to the development of material practices and media technologies, and is a reflection of common themes in modernity.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, material practice, media technology
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, Department of
Depositing User: Xinwei Zhu
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2018 14:00
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2018 14:00

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