We only have a couple of weeks left in the company of Elizabeth Bennet, and it’s time to look ahead to the next seminar subject!

If this is your first time through this part of the process, each book on the shortlist have to meet the following criteria:

  • It must be widely available.
  • I must have read it either recently or frequently, so I can be sure that…
  • I have enough to say about the book to support a whole seminar series.

Here’s the thing: after we’re done with the Pride and Prejudice seminar, we’re going to release audio commentary tracks for every episode of the 1995 BBC adaptation. That will take us to the beginning of September; we’re going to return to Diana Gabaldon and begin Dragonfly in Amber in November. That means that we have to find a short, four- or six-week series to fill the gap, so we have the opportunity to experiment. None of the choices in this poll are novels; we’re going to use this short series to look at other kinds of texts, in other contexts. Don’t worry, though — we’ll be back to novels in the new year!

So, without further ado, here are the choices for the next seminar:

  • Fairy Tales
    In which we look at the history of fairy tales, from their mythic origins to their place in the popular culture. We’ll look closely at several fairy tales, as well as the different eras of — and approaches to — tale-telling.
  • Interactive Storytelling
    In which we look at the storytelling opportunities afforded by video games, including specific looks at Portal, Gone Home, Minecraft and more. You won’t need to purchase or play any games to take part in this seminar, but if you do, you’ll be able to play along as we discuss the stories and techniques we discover.
  • Spider-Man
    In which we look at one of the most compelling and well-defined modern myths, including different versions of his origin story, and the movie adaptations. With great power comes great responsibility!
  • HP Lovecraft
    In which we look at some of Lovecraft’s most well-known short stories, including The Call Of Cthulhu, and discuss his place in the evolution of modern horror fiction.
  • Story and Star Wars
    In which we look at six movies in six weeks, and break down the epic from a strictly narrative viewpoint. No expanded universe, no fan fiction, no cultural consequence — in this seminar, we look at the narrative of Star Wars, and pull it apart to find out how it succeeds and fails on its own terms.

The new seminar will begin around the end of September, and will run between four and six weeks, depending on which choice wins out. The first runner-up will appear in the next list, and the others may well show up again in the future. You’ll only be able to vote once; voting closes at 6PM Eastern Time on August 10th, and the winner will be announced during the seminar session on August 11th.

The vote has closed! Stay tuned for the announcement of our next seminar series, and thank you to everyone who voted!