Roedde House Speaker Series, April 24th - "In Plane Sight: Envisioning Geometry and the Algebraic Symbol in Lewis Carrolls Alice in Wonderland" with Andrea Sandeen
Please join us for the inaugural speaker series event, in which scholars and professionals in Victorian literature, regional and local history, and heritage preservation will give talks on a variety of interesting subjects. Topics and speakers will change monthly!
For our first Speaker Series, Andrea Sandeen will talk about how geometry and mathematical concepts are pictured in the illustrations of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.
Since 1865, mathematics and logic tutor Charles Dodgson, better known to his readers as Lewis Carroll, has captivated the imaginations of children and adults alike with his story of Alice in Wonderland. While scholarship has shown a connection
between the text and contemporary mathematical developments under debate, there has been relatively little said about the role of illustration and print culture in the exploration of these concepts. By comparing Carrolls original manuscript drawings with the later published illustrations done by cartoonist and illustrator John Tenniel, this talk shows how Carrolls paratext takes us closer to the mathematical themes of
the novel. The abstract concepts of geometry and negative number become visualized through Carroll and Tenniels illustrations, making the leap from page to imagination and striking at the heart of an intuitive understanding of space and logic within readers who would otherwise insist that theyre poor students of mathematics. Through the publishing of numerous pamphlets and books on logical games, Carroll made it his lifes mission to popularize logic and mathematical reasoning. The enduring popularity of Alice, a playful visualization of mathematical concepts and logic, reminds us that Carroll may have been more successful than he ever anticipated.
About the speaker: Although originally a Mathematics and Philosophy major, Andrea completed her B.A. in English at the University of Minnesota. She is currently a second-year M.A. student of English Literature at the University of British Columbia. Her research interests include 19th-century literature and its links to the philosophical development of mathematics. She plans to continue this research as she begins her PhD at UBC this fall.
Roedde House Museum (View)
1415 Barclay St.
Vancouver, BC V6G 1J6
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