Over 100 attendees from twelve countries watched in rapt attention on July 24 as four Carrollian titans amicably argued over which is the more scholastically significant, culturally compelling, engrossingly eloquent, all-around better book: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland or Through the Looking-Glass? Dr. Jan Susina and Charlie Lovett redoubtably represented Team Wonderland, while Ellie Luchinsky and Brian Sibley formidably fought for Team Looking-Glass.
The debate caused quite a stir on social media, with impassioned fans on both sides making their allegiance clear with #teamaaiw and #teamttlg hashtags. There was also more than a little trash-talking direct from a debater or two on Twitter. While fun was had by all — the debaters, the audience, and moderator Heather Simmons — make no mistake, The Great Debate was far from a frivolous event. All four renowned scholars spoke eloquently and easily of their love for both books and the author who created them. (The “lightning round” in particular sparked fascinating, thought-provoking discussions.) Attendees submitted debate questions and also got to vote for their favorite tome before and after the debate, making it a truly interactive affair. As for who won, you’ll have to watch to find out! The debate is now available on the LCSNA YouTube channel. Be sure to hit that subscribe button while you’re there!