The Long Life of Sherlock Holmes

Laura C. Berry
Wednesdays 4 PM - 6 PM (AZ Time)
July 13, 20, 27, August 3, 10, and 17, 2022
Watch the video to learn more about this course

The Long Life of Sherlock Holmes

4 PM - 6 PM (AZ Time)
July 13, 20, 27, August 3, 10, and 17, 2022





Sherlock Holmes never actually uttered the words, "Elementary, my dear Watson!" but this and other iconic traces of the detective have lasted for over a century. There have been more than 60 film adaptations of Holmes, including versions in which he is portrayed by a mouse, a dog, and at least once as a woman. Arthur Conan Doyle, who wrote the original stories, was a medical doctor, a freemason, and a believer in spiritualism and clairvoyance. In this seminar, these and other curious facts will be explored (or should we say 'detected'?). We will examine a cross-section of the Sherlock stories, and take a quick detour into Doyle's supernatural stories. We will examine the enduring themes of Holmesiana by viewing film and television versions of the detective. There will be an examination of the history of the time, which will bring us to reading about psychology and science as they apply to Sherlock Holmes' theories of knowledge. Finally, we will look at a real murder case and the trial at the Old Bailey. What is the enduring power of this mysterious figure, Sherlock Holmes? By the end, we will know much about his methods.

Please Note: This course is an updated version of the same course offered by Professor Berry in Summer 2016.

Online Only Course Format

  • All classes will be delivered online via Zoom
  • Online students may attend all classes via live video streaming on Zoom and will be able to participate in all course Q&A sessions with the professor in real time. Students may also access class recordings for a limited time to assist those who may not be able to attend the live class times. Online access will be password protected and only available to enrolled students.

Registration Will Open Online:
Monday, april 11, 2022 at 8 AM (AZ Time)

Required Reading: 

  • Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan. The Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Ed. Ed Glinert. Penguin Classics, 2001. ISBN-10: 0140437711.
  • ---. A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four. Dover Thrift Edition, 2003. ISBN-13: 978-0486431666.
  • ---. The Best Supernatural Tales of Arthur Conan Doyle. Introduced by E.F. Bleiler. Dover Publications, 2011. ISBN-13: 978-0486237251.
  • Elementary. Television series created by Robert Doherty. Available to stream on Hulu and Amazon Prime. (Select episodes).
  • Freud, Sigmund. The Question of Lay Analysis. Ed. James Strachey, W.W. Norton, 1990. ISBN-13: 978-0393005035. The text is also available online at
  • Freud, Sigmund. The Interpretation of Dreams. Excerpts will be selected from the online version:
  • House. Television series created by Paul Attanasio, Available to stream on Peacock and Amazon Prime. (Select episodes).
  • The Proceedings of the Old Bailey. Digital Humanities Institute. November 1875 trial for murder of Henry Wainwright and Thomas George Wainwright. Selected excerpts to be assigned from the below online version:
  • Sherlock. Television series created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss for the BBC. Available to stream on Amazon Prime and iTunes. (Select episodes).

Course Registration

Meet Your Professor

Associate Professor
Department of English, UA Honors College

LAURA C. BERRY is Associate Professor of English at the University of Arizona.  She is the author of The Child, the State and the Victorian Novel, and numerous articles on Dickens, the Brontes, George Eliot, and Victorian literature and culture.  She received her doctorate from UC Berkeley in 1992.  


This course will be offered ONLINE ONLY
Classes will be live streamed during the time and dates specified in the course details section above. Instructions about how to access the course online will be sent to all enrolled students before the course begins.

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