Ann McClellan is professor of English at Plymouth State University where she teaches 19th and 20th century British literature. She is the author of How British Women Writers Transformed the Campus Novel (2012), Sherlock's World: Fanfiction and the Reimagining of BBC's Sherlock (2018), and several articles on cultural topics ranging from servants on screen to social media, fan fiction, and Sherlock Holmes. She is currently writing a new monograph on Black Sherlock Holmes adaptations.
Available through April 2023; unavailable after May 2023.
Ann McClellanPlymouth, NH email@example.comPhone: 603-960-2505
The recent spate of Sherlock Holmes movies, television shows, and literary adaptations indicate the Great Detective is alive and well in the 21st century. Holmes is the most portrayed literary character of all time, with over 230 film versions alone in several different languages. Over the past century, Sherlockians created societies like the Baker Street Irregulars, wrote articles sussing out the "sources" of Doyle's works, and, most recently, developed an entire online world of Holmesian fan fiction. Sherlock Holmes is now a multi-million dollar industry. Why is Sherlock Holmes so popular? Ann McClellan's presentation explores the origins of Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective and tracks his incarnations in literature, film, advertising, and modern media in order to crack the case of the most popular detective.
While servant narratives have been popular for centuries, there seems to be a resurging interest in these stories in recent decades. Many contemporary British and North American writers, filmmakers, and television executives have turned to master/servant relationships as their subject matter. Films like The Remains of the Day and Gosford Park garnered numerous Oscar nominations and substantial box office profits. PBS created such classics as Upstairs, Downstairs and Manor House, as well as the phenomenally successful Downton Abbey! Even mainstream American television has piloted its own versions of the British servant in shows as wide-ranging as The Fresh Prince of Bel Air to reality TV's Supernanny. Join Ann McClellan as she explores the history behind the rise and fall of British servants and why Americans are so fascinated by their stories on page and screen.
As part of New Hampshire Humanities' Perspectives Book Groups, we're reading "Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister," by Gregory Maguire.
Gregory Maguire proves himself to be “one of contemporary fiction’s most assured myth-makers” (Kirkus Reviews) with Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, his ingenious and provocative retelling of the timeless Cinderella fairy tale. Perhaps best known for his dark and breathtaking Oz series The Wicked Years—including the novel Wicked, which inspired the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical—Maguire is a master at upending the ordinary to help us see the familiar in a brilliant new light.
PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED TO RECEIVE THE BOOK PRIOR TO DISCUSSION.
As part of New Hampshire Humanities' Perspectives Book Groups, we're reading "Disgrace," by John Maxwell Coetzee. Against a backdrop of racial complexitites of post-apartheid South Africa, a violent incident occurs and "disgrace" takes on another meaning for an aging and outcast professor.
At fifty-two, Professor David Lurie is divorced, filled with desire, but lacking in passion. When an affair with a student leaves him jobless, shunned by friends, and ridiculed by his ex-wife, he retreats to his daughter Lucy’s smallholding. David’s visit becomes an extended stay as he attempts to find meaning in his one remaining relationship. Instead, an incident of unimaginable terror and violence forces father and daughter to confront their strained relationship and the equallity complicated racial complexities of the new South Africa.
As part of New Hampshire Humanities' Perspectives Book Groups, we're reading "How to Be Good," by Nick Hornby. The book is a story of Katie Carr, a doctor who is disillusioned with both marriage and parenthood. Her husband has a rather snide streak, but when he undergoes a personality change, she learns to long for her old husband.
London GP Katie Carr always thought she was a good person. With her husband David making a living as 'The Angriest Man in Holloway,' she figured she could put up with anything. Until, that is, David meets DJ Goodnews and becomes a good person too. A far-too-good person who starts committing crimes of charity like taking in the homeless and giving their kids' toys away. Suddenly Katie's feeling very bad about herself, and thinking that if charity begins at home, then maybe it's time to move. . .
As part of New Hampshire Humanities' Perspectives Book Groups, we're reading "The Remains of the Day," by Kazuo Ishiguro. A compelling portrait of Stevens, the perfect butler, and of his fading, insular world in post - World War II England.
Here is Kazuo Ishiguro’s profoundly compelling portrait of Stevens, the perfect butler, and of his fading, insular world in post-World War II England. Stevens, at the end of three decades of service at Darlington Hall, spending a day on a country drive, embarks as well on a journey through the past in an effort to reassure himself that he has served humanity by serving the “great gentleman,” Lord Darlington. But lurking in his memory are doubts about the true nature of Lord Darlington’s “greatness,” and much graver doubts about the nature of his own life.
As part of New Hampshire Humanities' Perspectives Book Groups, we're reading "White Teeth," by Zadie Smith.
Zadie Smith’s dazzling debut caught critics grasping for comparisons and deciding on everyone from Charles Dickens to Salman Rushdie to John Irving and Martin Amis. But the truth is that Zadie Smith’s voice is remarkably, fluently, and altogether wonderfully her own.At the center of this invigorating novel are two unlikely friends, Archie Jones and Samad Iqbal. Hapless veterans of World War II, Archie and Samad and their families become agents of England’s irrevocable transformation. A second marriage to Clara Bowden, a beautiful, albeit tooth-challenged, Jamaican half his age, quite literally gives Archie a second lease on life, and produces Irie, a knowing child whose personality doesn’t quite match her name (Jamaican for “no problem”). Samad’s late-in-life arranged marriage (he had to wait for his bride to be born), produces twin sons whose separate paths confound Iqbal’s every effort to direct them, and a renewed, if selective, submission to his Islamic faith.
New Hampshire Humanities programs are made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this these programs do not necessarily represent those of the NEH or New Hampshire Humanities.