The recent spate of Sherlock Holmes movies, television shows, and literary adaptations indicate the Great Detective is alive and well in the 21st century. Holmes is the most portrayed literary character of all time, with over 230 film versions alone in several different languages. Over the past century, Sherlockians created societies like the Baker Street Irregulars, wrote articles sussing out the "sources" of Doyle's works, and, most recently, developed an entire online world of Holmesian fan fiction. Sherlock Holmes is now a multi-million dollar industry. Why is Sherlock Holmes so popular? Ann McClellan's presentation explores the origins of Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective and tracks his incarnations in literature, film, advertising, and modern media in order to crack the case of the most popular detective.  

Ann McClellan is professor of English at Plymouth State University where she teaches 19th and 20th century British literature. She is the author of How British Women Writers Transformed the Campus Novel (2012), Sherlock’s World: Fanfiction and the Reimagining of BBC’s Sherlock (2018), and several articles on cultural topics ranging from servants on screen to social media, fan fiction, and Sherlock Holmes. She is currently writing a new monograph on race and Sherlock Holmes adaptations.