The 19th century author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll), created works that melded fiction, poetry, mathematics, games, logic and cryptography. This talk explores Dodgson’s use of puzzles and games, word play, and the creation of a cipher language to create iconic children’s tales, such as Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. In August and December 2014, Abby taught a Freshman Micro-Seminar titled “Decoding Wonderland: Puzzles, Logic and Cryptography in the Works of Lewis Carroll.” Through hands-on exploration of rare materials from the Cassady Lewis Carroll Collection in USC Libraries’ Special Collections, students investigated how language, logic and games played an important role in this 19th century author’s life and work.
Abby Saunders is Curator of the Cassady Lewis Carroll Collection at USC Libraries Special Collections at Doheny Library. As coordinator of the Wonderland Awards, an annual multi-disciplinary student scholarship contest that encourages students to explore the works of Lewis Carroll, Abby facilitates student engagement with rare materials and emphasizes the archive as a source of inspiration for many disciplines, including the arts. Before joining USC as a faculty librarian, Abby worked at Brown University’s John Carter Brown Library as coordinator of the Charles H. Watts II History and Culture of the Book Program. Abby received an MLIS from Simmons College with a concentration in Preservation, and a BA in English from Rhode Island College.