Seminar Descriptions (Spring 2019)

Information about credit to the major is included when available; in other cases, consult the department. Instructors reserve the right to alter the information provided. Course meeting times and locations will be listed on Yale Focus Search  as they become available.


CSBK 400, War Films and Warrior Culture, John Garofolo, writer, Coast Guard Officer. Lecturer in Yale College.

Examination of war films produced from 1965 to the present. Discussion of whether these representations of war serve to support or produce a warrior culture. Includes weekly screenings.

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search


CSBR 400, Trials of the Century, Jack Ford, JD, Television Journalist. Lecturer in Yale College. 

An examination of several famous trials of the twentieth century. The legal significance, political and historical context, social implications, and media coverage of each case. Trials include the Lindbergh kidnapping case; the Scopes “monkey trial”; the Rosenberg spy case; the Chicago Seven conspiracy case; the O. J. Simpson, Emmett Till, and Charles Manson murder trials; and the impeachment trial of President Clinton.

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search.


CSDC 400, Legal and Business Histories of the American Performing ArtsBrent Salter, J.S.D., Yale Law School; Lecturer, Yale College.

This course is a legal and business history of the American performing arts and explores connections and disconnections between law in the theater and the actual practice of theater making from historical and contemporary perspectives. The course is organized around three themes: the rights and protections afforded to author and other collaborators; histories of collective organization in the industry; and business histories of the performing arts.

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search.

Timothy Dwight

 CSTD 400, The Mindful Moment: Examining the History, Psychology, and Neuroscience of Mindfulness. Suman Baddam, M.D., Armed Forces Medical College (India); Instructor, Yale Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine; Lecturer, Yale College.

Although mindfulness as a technique is almost 2500 years old, we are just beginning to understand the science behind mindful states. In this seminar, we critically evaluate the literature on mindfulness, developing an understanding of the psychological, neural and physiological correlates of the mindful moment. We also practice mindfulness techniques and explore how mindfulness practice enhances individual and community well-being and the inherent challenges underlying each mindfulness practice.

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search.

Jonathan Edwards

CSJE 400, Understanding the Soldier Diplomat. Nicholas Eidemiller, Nicholas Eidemiller, BS, USMA; Transitioning U.S. Army Special Forces Military Officer. Lecturer in Yale College.

Examination of tactical military leadership, including the role of the field soldier in combining diplomatic skills with military knowledge and expertise. Topics include foundational development, conventional military environments, special operations, counterinsurgency, and the future of warfare.

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search.

Benjamin Franklin

CSBF 400, The Material Culture of Music: Stuff at Yale. Judith Malafronte, Lecturer, Institute of Sacred Music and Yale College.

This seminar considers the physical materials associated with musical culture, including objects for learning, teaching, performing, and archiving, from both historical and social perspectives. We use Yale’s collections and physical resources to examine manuscripts and instruments, to investigate recording technology and its influence on the development of performance style, and to consider musical objects as status symbols.

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search .

Grace Hopper

CSGH 403, Power and Organizing in the City, Peter Crumlish, Executive Director, Dwight Hall at Yale University. Lecturer at Yale College.

How power is concentrated and distributed in an urban context and ways in which people organize and mobilize communities to bring about social change. Focus on New Haven as a case study, with community site visits and meetings with community leaders.

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search.


CSMC 400, Heroes and Villains in Film and Literature.  Eddy Friedfeld, J.D., attorney, consultant, journalist, and historian. Lecturer in Yale College.

American archetypes of heroes and villains explored through the genesis and evolution of the detective, gangster, and spy genres in film and novels. Ways in which great directors, actors, and writers influenced these archetypes and were influenced by them.

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search.

Pauli Murray

CSMY 400, Debating Law, Feminism, and Social Power, Samantha Godwin, LLM, 2015; JSD Candidate, Yale Law School; Lecturer in Political Science, Yale College.

Examination of the central debates in law and feminism, focusing on the themes of interpersonal and relational power as mediated by law. Feminist legal theory is both the subject of this seminar and a means to explore more general questions about justice, equality, and social power beyond questions of gender relations. Law and interpersonal relations serve as the space for philosophical, ethical, and political debate.

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search.


CSPC 400, The Surprising History of the Alphabet. John Thames, Ph.D., John Hopkins University, Lecturer, Yale College.

The alphabet represents one of the most important technological revolutions in history. But its development was not inevitable. In this seminar, students address problems in understanding the history of writing, starting with the question of why humans write, at all. Using hands-on projects and applied learning, this seminar introduces students to the complex history of writing, from the emergence of glyphic characters to the culture wars that changed the nature of scribalism and democratized the power of writing.

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search.


CSSY 400, Innovation & Leadership in America. Sherman Baldwin, MBA, Managing Director at Accenture, LLP. Lecturer in Yale College.

Great American innovators who have driven change in industry, the military, and society. Conceptual frameworks from innovation and leadership theory; relations between innovation and leadership in the context of disruption and change. Case studies include Benjamin Franklin, Admiral Grace Hopper, Martin Luther King, Jr., Stephanie Kwolek and Steve Jobs.

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search.


CSSM 400, Future Cities, Manasvi Menon, MS, London School of Economics and Political Science; Senior Strategy Manager, Intersection; Lecturer, Yale College; and Matthew Triebner, MS, London School of Economics and Political Science; Director of Strategy and Discovery, Associate Principal, HLW International, LLP; Lecturer, Yale College.

This course addresses the forces that shape contemporary urban life to help us understand and contextualize the future of cities. We explore different elements of city life, from resiliency to retail, using case studies from Brooklyn to Barcelona. Analyzing cities through these multiple “probes” provides insights into how a city functions as well as the values, needs, and priorities of the people who inhabit them.

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search.

Ezra Stiles

CSES 400, Holy Hipsters: Spiritual Heterodoxy in Postwar America,.Joseph (Christian) Greer, Ph.D. University of Amsterdam, Lecturer Yale College.

At the heart of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road (1957) is an enchanted vision of bohemianism, which revitalized the older vernacular culture of “hip.” This course examines the way in which the spiritual heterodoxy of the Beat Generation inspired later generations of hipsters to found their own esoteric fellowships, outlaw churches, and secret brotherhoods. Across our discussions, special attention is paid to the often neglected spiritual dimension implicit in the social construction of hipness.

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search.


CSTC 400, Drink History: The Ethics and Business of Cocktails. John Clark Ginnetti, BS Quinnipiac University; Owner, 116 Crown, Meat & Co, Ginn & Son; Lecturer, Yale College and Jessica Spector, Ph.D., The University of Chicago; Founder and Managing Director, The Academy Drinks; Lecturer, Yale College.

This is a cross-disciplinary course on the role of the liquor trade in American material culture, approached through the examination of a supposedly American invention: the cocktail. By focusing on several classic cocktails in the context of the periods and sub-cultures in which they were created, our goal is a deeper understanding of both the history of modern drinks culture, as well as some of the broader aesthetic, economic, and moral structures underlying it.

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search.

Yale College

CSYC 401, Art of the Printed Word. Richard Rose,  M.A. University of California, Berkeley, Artist, Designer, Printer; Lecturer Yale College, Critic, Yale School of Art.

Introduction to the art and historical development of letterpress printing and to the evolution of private presses. Survey of hand printing; practical study of press operations using antique platen presses and the cylinder proof press. Material qualities of printed matter, connections between content and typographic form, and word/image relationships. This course can not be taken after ART 006

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search.

CSYC 402, Mastering the Art of Watercolor: Classic Techniques from Turner to Hopper. Adam Van Doren, Artist. Lecturer in Yale College.

Introduction to the fundamentals of watercolor painting. Rendering color, form, perspective, composition, shade, and shadow. Analysis of works by artists such as J. M. W. Turner, John Singer Sargent, Maurice Prendergast, and Edward Hopper. Includes weekly painting assignments. Open both to seasoned artists and to beginners.

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search.

CSYC 403, Approaches to Sustainable Food and AgricultureMark Bomford, Mark Bomford, Director, Yale Sustainable Food Project. Lecturer at Yale College.

Introduction to the global food system through critical analysis of four ideological and technical approaches to meeting the world’s food needs: organic farming, relocalization, vertical farming, and food sovereignty. Ways in which context, values, and networks shape the food system. Use of quantitative, social science, and humanities methodologies. Includes visits to Yale Farm sites.

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search.