Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Jenifer J. Schneider, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jolyn Blank, Ph.D.

Committee Member

James King, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Christopher DeLuca, Ph.D.


curation, gaze, illustrated classics, illustrators


In the 150 years since Lewis Carroll and John Tenniel (1865/1866) first published Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, various illustrators have found inspiration in this story to recreate its images again and again. Since Carroll and Tenniel, Wonderland has concerned itself with sociocultural ideas and the work of artists who re-illustrated this story provide ways to trace history of these ideas.

Accordingly, the purpose of this project was to examine connections and breaks with tradition in illustration that contribute to an evolution of meaning in the Wonderland story. Additionally, through this project, I worked to interpret ideas from different artists in different times and spaces in an attempt to understand intersecting ideas of culture and Wonderland illustration. Through this work, I developed the concept of curation as a visual research methodology in order to make sense of and share my discoveries. Wonderland offers a rich context to explore and elucidate the arts-based qualitative methodology of curation because of its literary merits, artistic interpretations, and persistence and pervasion worldwide over the last century and a half.

Curation allowed me flexibility in thinking about thematic interpretations of the illustrations I studied. Specific curatorial methods led me to identify the scene of Alice's decent to Wonderland, visual characterizations of the Hatter character, and depictions of the playing card characters as signals of sociocultural changes. When examined together, these interpretations point to an ever-shifting relationship between author, illustrators, and readers in classic, illustrated novels. Specifically, through the illustrations in Wonderland, Alice is no longer portrayed as a particular girl and illustrators over time have placed readers as the subject of the adventures. In recent times, Wonderland has gained some ability to cross over from its pages into the real world and take a look at its readers. This shift in perspective in Wonderland speaks to a current sociocultural environment wherein reality is hyper-subjective and nothing is quite as it seems.

Included in

Aesthetics Commons