This conference offers a serious opportunity to bring together academics, enthusiasts, creative practitioners and popular writers in a shared discussion about the cultural legacy of Sherlock Holmes. The Strand Magazine and the Sherlock Holmes stories contribute one of the most enduring paradigms for the production and consumption of popular culture in the twentieth- and the twenty-first centuries. The stories precipitated a burgeoning fan culture including various kinds of participation, wiki and crowd-sourcing, fan-fiction, virtual realities and role-play gaming. All of these had existed before but they were solidified, magnified and united by Sherlockians and Holmesians in entirely new ways and on scales never seen before. All popular culture phenomena that followed (from Lord of the Rings to Twilight via Star Trek) shared its viral pattern. This conference aims to unpick the historical intricacies of Holmesian fandom as well as offering a wide variety of perspectives upon its newest manifestations. This conference invites adaptors of and scholars on Holmes, late-Victorian writing, and popular culture internationally to contribute to this scholarly conversation. Our aims are to celebrate Conan Doyle’s achievement, to explore the reasons behind Holmes’ enduring popularity across different cultures and geographical spaces, and to investigate new directions in Holmes’ afterlife. This conference will precede Holmes’ 160th birthday in 2014 and launch a new volume of essays on Holmes co-edited by Dr. Jonathan Cranfield and Tom Ue, and form part of the larger celebrations in London and internationally.
This conference is generously supported by Blackwell's Charing Cross Road; Institute of ENglis hStudies, School of Advanced Study, University of London; Intellect Books; MX Publishing; UCL Arts and Humanities, including the Faculty Institute of Graduate Studies; UCL Art Museum; UCL English; UCL European Institute; and the UCL Public Engagement Unit. The competitions are sponsored by Pan Macmillan. We thank Owen Jollands for contributing all of the artwork; Carol Bowen, Stephen Cadywold, Anita Garfoot, and James Phillips from UCL English for their administrative help; Jon Millington from the Institute of English Studies in the School of Advanced Study at the University of London for his; Laura Cream from UCL Public Engagement Unit; and Karen Attar for putting together the Conan Doyle display at Senate House Library. We are grateful to David Grylls, Douglas Kerr, John Mullan, and the conference participants for their contributions.