Publishing PhD candidate Amanda Lastoria presents talk on Alice in Wonderland

Amanda Lastoria is Canada’s first PhD candidate in Publishing (SFU) and editor of the Lewis Carroll Review. Her research interrogates the ways in which the book’s design and production values impact the markets for, and the meanings of, the text.

Amanda will be presenting a talk titled Alice by Design: The Victorian Material Evolution of Wonderland as part of SFU English Department’s Print Culture Speakers Series on Friday, March 10 at SFU Burnaby campus.

The Print Culture Speakers Series has been a venue for the dissemination of innovative work and discussion of the issues that challenge and define the study of print culture by bringing scholars together with local faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, first published by Macmillan in 1865 and republished in numerous Victorian editions, was written and art directed by Lewis Carroll. Each repackaging of the title targets a different consumer of the book and solicits a different response to the story. This talk (based on a paper Lastoria wrote) traces the development of early editions from initial concepts to final products, reflecting on their creative success—as qualified by Carroll and critics—and commercial success—as quantified by the market.Wonderland is a case study of the origins and effects of material evolution.

The book’s design and production values, such as cover design, paper stock and binding method, constitute its materiality; the multiple materialities of a title that is republished in a number of editions, or repackagings, constitute what this paper calls the title’s material evolution. How is the title materially differentiated from one edition to the next? What is the impact of each edition? Body text and illustrations are mutable content that is framed and commodified by the book’s materiality, and, by extension, the title’s material evolution. Analyzing multiple editions of a single title isolates the variable of editorial content and throws into relief its evolving material contexts.

Alice by Design: The Victorian Material Evolution of Wonderland
Friday, March 10, 2017
AQ 6106, SFU Burnaby campus