Our 4th annual Unbirthday Tea Party brought in a wide variety of Alice fans and fairy tale fans alike. Everyone knows that our research team is mad about fairy tales, and we wanted to share that passion by discussing the portrayal of madness in Alice in Wonderland adaptations across time.
As the audience enjoyed tea and cookies, Erica and Lauren tag-teamed their way through a discussion of the original novel and early film adaptations, then followed up with an overview of 60s drug culture (including the parties where college students would drop acid during double features of Disney’s Fantasia and Alice in Wonderland) and the effect that it had on the way madness was understood. Instead of being whimsical or silly, madness was connected to drug culture–a connection that is still pervasive.
Our presenters then led us on a scavenger hunt through the FTTV database. We looked for the oldest Alice adaptation in the database, for other characters that have visited wonderland, and for television episodes we have actually watched, along with several other things to help familiarize the audience with the database and all it offers.
We wrapped up with a discussion of TV adaptations of Alice in Wonderland, the way modern adaptations tend to see madness as a sign of mental health issues, and loose adaptations of Alice as well as other ways we still feel the influence of Alice and her mad adventures today.
We had a ton of fun at this event, and look forward to our future events with you!