Sherlockology: Teaching Sherlock Holmes
Nelson, C. (2013). Sherlockology: Teaching Sherlock Holmes. Teaching Adaptations Symposium.
Every act of adaptation represents a dynamic interaction between a culturally inscribed text and a culturally inscribed reader, and each of these interactions is structured by the material historical — social, cultural, ideological and institutional — relationships which locate them. This rich and unstable series of relationships is what makes adaptation an ideal vehicle for teaching and learning in the humanities classroom. It requires students to explore the dynamic or living history of the text and its continual reworking, providing the specific challenge of grappling with the cultural specificity of each textual interaction. The paper draws on a module on Sherlock Holmes within a wider interdisciplinary course on adaptation. It explores the difficulty of teaching trans media texts — including novels, films, television, digital works, and fan fiction — and the possibilities of enhancing students’ critical and analytical skills by anchoring critical work in practical understanding, specifically by requiring students to produce their own critical/creative adaptations of scenes from the texts it presents.
Peer-reviewed, Abstract only