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Is Sherlockian Scholarship Scholarly? - Robert Perret


Sherlock Holmes has one of the oldest fandoms in the world. Nearly from the inception of the character in the nineteenth century there has been avid discussion, hand-crafted publications, fan written fiction, costume creation, art in various media, parodies, knock-offs, and everything else we recognize as fannish behavior in the twenty-first century. Yet there is one unique element to Sherlock Holmes fandom; amateur scholarship. Of course other pieces of Victorian popular literature are studied and published upon; Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Charles Dickens and many more. But they are studied in ivory towers by people wearing leather patches on their elbows and being published in places that turn up their noses at any aspiring author who lacks an alphabet soup of academic credentials after their name. Not so Holmes. Dentists and accountants, businessmen and clergymen, irregulars from all walks of life create Sherlockian scholarship and submit it to journals that lay outside the purview of traditional academia. At least, we call it scholarship. But is it? What separates a Sherlockian article from an especially nitpicky and footnoted blog post about the Marvel superhero movies? Conversely what separates a Sherlockian article from an ivy-covered reconsideration of Chaucer in a specialized literary journal? Is Sherlockian scholarship scholarly? This session will examine the results of a study of the Baker Street Journal and the results of a survey of Sherlockian scholars. We will also examine our own thoughts of the issues of scholarliness, intellectual legitimacy, and our eccentric brand of especially bookish fan behavior.


Robert Perret is a writer, librarian, and Sherlock Holmes fan living on the Palouse in north Idaho. His scholarly credits include "Is Sherlockian Scholarship Scholarly?" and "Irene by Any Other Name" for The Watsonian, "A Study in Scholarship: The Case of the Baker Street Journal" for Proceedings of the Pondicherry Lodge and a chapter on the character Flaxman Low for the monograph Victorian Detectives in Contemporary Culture: Beyond Sherlock Holmes. He also writes fiction and his short stories have appeared in anthologies from Bellanger Books, MX Press, Mocha Memoirs Press, and 18th Wall, among others. He is a member of the John H. Watson Society ("Sampson") and Doyle's Rotary Coffin. More information can be found at

Nevertheless, She Persisted: Women Who Broke the Sherlockian Gender Barrier - Sonia Fetherston & Julie McKuras


This talk will focus on the efforts of key Sherlockian women (1930s - 1990s) who refused to sit down and be quiet. By virtue of their excellence — as writers, speakers, organizers, thinkers and problem solvers — they broke the Sherlockian gender barrier. Because they persisted, the door was opened for other women to become respected leaders in the Sherlockian (and Irregular) world. While there is a great deal written about the men who shaped the study of Sherlock Holmes, and the formation of The Baker Street Irregulars, women are often footnotes. Women were not accepted as equals for many years despite their achievements. We will focus on several women, in particular, as well as a few groups: Edith Meiser, Katherine MacMahon, Helen Yuhas, Kathleen Morrison, the students of Albertus Magnus College, and the BSI Class of 1991, including Susan Rice, Julia Rosenblatt and Evy Herzog.


Sonia Fetherston, BSI is a multiple award-winning writer from the Pacific Northwest. For nearly thirty years her Sherlockian work has appeared in The Baker Street Journal, the Journal of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, Canadian Holmes and many other publications. A member of The Baker Street Irregulars, Sonia is also active with The Sound of the Baskervilles (Seattle) and The Sydney Passengers (Australia). She is one of the few women ever inducted into the legendary Speckled Band of Boston, and is the only woman to be honored with that group’s prestigious Sherlock Holmes Memorial Bowl. Sonia is the author of two books about illustrious members of the BSI, and her essays have appeared in numerous anthologies and textbooks. 

Julie McKuras, ASH, BSI has been a member of the Norwegian Explorers since 1993, serving as president for nine years. She joined The Friends of the Sherlock Holmes Collections board in 1995 and was involved with the publication of the Friends newsletter from the beginning in March 1997, assuming the position of editor in September 1999. Julie is a member of A.S.H. ("The Compliments of the Season"),The Baker Street Irregulars ("The Duchess of Devonshire", 2001), The Hounds of the Baskerville (sic) and The Sherlock Holmes Society of London. She has contributed articles to The Baker Street Journal, The Serpentine Muse and The Sherlock Holmes Journal, and has presented at a number of symposiums. With Susan Vizoskie she co-edited Sherlockian Heresies, co-edited The Missing Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes, and co-wrote the 2017 Baker Street Journal Christmas Annual "A Woman of Mystery"; Helene Yuhasova, Poetress Laureate of The Baker Street Irregulars with Sonia Fetherston. Her collection of Sherlock Holmes items and books has taken over much of her home in Apple Valley, MN, and her long suffering spouse Mike happily accompanies her on Sherlockian events throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Building Baker Street - Chuck Kovacic


Chuck Kovacic is pleased to be presenting “Building Baker Street,” detailing his recreation of the fabled sitting room of Mr. Sherlock Holmes, 221b BAKER STREET/Los Angeles. Chuck will explain the “who, what and where” to acquire the inventory and knowledge necessary to bring Mr. Holmes to your home! Additionally, a selection of rare Sherlockian items will be offered at his dealer’s table.


Chuck Kovacic is a Los Angeles-based Sherlockian, a dealer in rare Sherlockiana and a presenter at conferences in Paris, Meiringen, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dayton and now, Portland. He has contributed to Beacon Society guidelines for presentations of the master detective, produced mystery themed corporate events, has co-founded a scion society and journal, the late BAKER STREET WEST 1. An award winning artist, his portrait of William Gillette is a fixture at the yearly Gillette Luncheon and his rendering of BSI founder, Christopher Morley, hangs at the fabled McSorley’s Pub in New York.  He is the designer and creator of 221b BAKER STREET/Los Angeles, a full-scale, sitting room recreation, and invites guests to take a virtual tour in 360 at

Gimme More!Holmes: Holmestice, Fanworks Exchanges, and Fan Engagement with Sherlock Holmes Adaptations - Haley aka colebaltblue and Elizabeth aka sanguinity


In a world where Sherlock Holmes is the most-adapted character of film history -- and has a comparably strong showing in pastiche -- how do you discover and share the adaptations of your heart, the rare finds one might never know to look for? Fannish gift exchanges are one avenue by which fans induct each other into the rich and turbulent sea of Holmesiana, introducing a new generation to old favourites and building enthusiasm for hidden gems. Haley and Elizabeth will discuss online creative spaces and how they help the Holmesian fandom to grow and thrive, with a particular focus on the triumphs and challenges of running Holmestice, a pan-Holmesian gift exchange with a nine-year history of 900 works in 53 Holmesian universes.

Well-acquainted with fanfiction and fandom before BBC Sherlock arrived on the scene, Haley aka colebaltblue watched the first season and immediately went looking for fellow fans and their stories online.  While Sherlock was her gateway into the incredibly wide and varied world of Holmes, it was because of a fanfic that she realized she was missing all the best parts of the story by not understanding the source material. She has been attempting to catch up on 170+ years of Holmes ever since.  She is one of the founders and moderators of Holmestice, the twice-yearly pan-Holmesian fanworks exchange that celebrates all iterations of Holmes. She has her MA in Humanities and works in the software industry.

Elizabeth aka sanguinity has been a Holmes fan for seven years and has spent most of that time rejoicing in the great, chaotic mess that is Holmesiana: the myriad visions of the Great Detective, from dignified to bonkers; the cross-talk, homages and throw-downs between adaptations; and the serious questions sometimes posed about race, class, gender, and nationality. She moderates Holmestice, a twice-annual gift exchange for all versions of Sherlock Holmes and his (her! their!) associates, administrates the More!Holmes collection on AO3 (a collection for rarer Holmesian fandoms), and has vidded a hundred-year retrospective of Sherlock Holmes on screen. She has a BA in Mathematics and an MS in Systems Science, and entirely too many opinions about Moriarty and his mathematical interests. She is a long-time resident of Portland OR.

You Say Baritsu, and I Say Bartitsu: The True Story of the Secret Fighting Techniques of the Original Sherlock Holmes - John Longenbaugh


The original Holmes stories allude to the Great Detective being a formidable fighter in several different forms, including the mysterious "Baritsu" that he uses against Professor Moriarty. But what do the stories really say about his fighting prowess? And what is "Baritsu?" Along with a short survey of Sherlock Holmes as fighter and some history of the real-world mixed martial art that Conan Doyle was referring to, this event will include a brief demonstration by members of Seattle's 19th century martial arts club, the Barton-Wright-Alfred-Hutton-Alliance-for-Historically-Accurate-Hoplology-and-Antagonistics, or BWAHAHAHA.

John Longenbaugh is a writer-director based in the Pacific Northwest, whose plays have been produced across the country and in England and Canada. They include Scotch and Donuts, Arcana, How to be Cool, and Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol. He is the creator of the adventure serial BRASS, set in an alternate-history Victorian England, which is produced as a podcast, a series of short films and live stage events. An avid Sherlockian and member in good standing of Seattle's Sound of the Baskervilles, Longenbaugh has lectured at Sherlock Seattle on a variety of topics and interviewed both Laurie King and Leslie Klinger among other eminent writers. He is also an avid student of Bartitsu and a member of BWAHAHAHA, and recently lectured at Combat Con in Las Vegas on the Martial Arts of Sherlock Holmes, for which he also helped prepare a full curriculum. For more on BRASS, click here.