Not So Elementary: An Examination of Trends in a Century of Sherlock Holmes Adaptations

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This study examines changes over time in 40 different Sherlock Holmes films and 39 television series and movies spanning from 1900 to 2017. Quantitative observations were mixed with a qualitative examination. Perceptions of law enforcement became more positive over time, the types of crime did not vary, and representation of race and gender improved over time with incrementally positive changes in the representation of queer, mentally ill, and physically handicapped individuals. The exact nature of these trends is discussed. Additionally, the trends of different decades are explored and compared. Sherlock Holmes is mostly used as a vehicle for storytelling rather ... continued below

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Camp, Nathan May 2018.

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  • Camp, Nathan

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This study examines changes over time in 40 different Sherlock Holmes films and 39 television series and movies spanning from 1900 to 2017. Quantitative observations were mixed with a qualitative examination. Perceptions of law enforcement became more positive over time, the types of crime did not vary, and representation of race and gender improved over time with incrementally positive changes in the representation of queer, mentally ill, and physically handicapped individuals. The exact nature of these trends is discussed. Additionally, the trends of different decades are explored and compared. Sherlock Holmes is mostly used as a vehicle for storytelling rather than for the salacious crimes that he solves, making the identification of perceptions of crime in different decades difficult. The reasons for why different Sherlock Holmes projects were created in different eras and for different purposes are discussed.

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  • May 2018

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  • June 6, 2018, 1:19 p.m.

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Camp, Nathan. Not So Elementary: An Examination of Trends in a Century of Sherlock Holmes Adaptations, thesis, May 2018; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1157536/: accessed January 22, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .