Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2017

Access Restrictions

Access restricted until 07/13/2019

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Nathan Platte


What does it sound like to fall down a rabbit hole? This was not a question that concerned Lewis Carroll when he wrote Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, but it has challenged the many individuals who have adapted his story for film, ballet, video games, and other multimedia formats since its creation. In recent decades, the proliferation of adaptations across a variety of new media has offered scholars a renewed opportunity to more closely examine this and other critical issues raised when considering the relationships between adapted texts and their original sources. This dissertation argues for a greater critical emphasis on the aurality of adaptation by examining the narrative potential of sound in adaptations across a variety of media forms. Despite scholarship on adaptations and comparable studies contemplating sound in adapted texts, these two streams of scholarly inquiry have largely remained isolated within adaptation studies and musicology, respectively. Through this dissertation, I provide an examination of sound’s capacity to shape, nuance, or subvert the other parts of a multimedia adaptation, thus bridging these disciplinary discussions.

This dissertation balances a broad survey of Alice adaptations with the highly focused examination of two case studies: Christopher Wheeldon’s ballet, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and Tim Burton’s film, Alice in Wonderland. The survey demonstrates a model for analyzing the aurality of adaptation across media forms, while the case studies provide an in-depth examination of aural adaptation in relation to specific media forms. The analysis undertaken focuses on the intersection of narrative, sound, and adaptation, revealing complex and multifaceted relationships. In this work, I merge score analysis with visual and narrative analyses, using films or filmed versions of stage productions as the primary source materials. From this rigorous comparative analysis, trends in musical interpretation emerge, indicating some of the prevailing expectations concerning Alice and its aural adaptations.


adaptation, Alice in Wonderland, aural adaptation, Lewis Carroll


xii, 183 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 174-183).


Copyright © 2017 Jessica Kizzire

Available for download on Saturday, July 13, 2019

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