Seminar Descriptions (Fall 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 300, SO, The Press, Business, and the Economy. R. Thomas Herman, B.A., journalist and teacher. Lecturer in Yale College.

A study of the ways that journalists define and shape economic news. Discussion of the pressures that business journalists face and the process of press coverage for business, economics, financial markets, and personal finance. 

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search (YCS).


CSBR 300/CSPC 300,  HU, Classical Storytelling and Modern ScreenwritingBrian Price, MFA, screenwriter, adjunct professor, UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television. Lecturer in Yale College.

Fundamentals of screenwriting and the current dominant mode of the craft. Theories of story, structure, and character, including Aristotle’s analysis of classical drama; screenwriting as both a craft and an art; film’s role in the history of storytelling. Students develop an original story idea and write the first act of a feature-length screenplay. Please send required writing sample to Enrollment limited to 15.

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search (YCS).


CSDC 300, Composing for Film & Media: Art, Innovation, and Commerce. Steven Shapiro, BA, producer, composer, and musician. Lecturer in Yale College.

This seminar explores the role of music in film and television through study of the composer’s process, business and legal fundamentals, professional expectations, production technology, relevant history, and analysis of classic and influential film scores. The class is designed as an up-to-date and real-world overview of the medium and professional industry, focusing on its dual nature as both an art form and a business. Background in music or video, with an ability to read music suggested.

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search (YCS).

Timothy Dwight

 CSTD 300Medicine and the Humanities: Certainty and Unknowing​. Matthew Morrison, MD, emergency room physician. Lecturer in Yale College.

In this course, we address the role of uncertainty in medicine, and the role that narrative plays in capturing and humanising that uncertainty. We focus our efforts on major authors and texts that define and redefine the modern medical humanities, and medicine as it is practiced today. Readings include works by Anton Chekhov, Mikhail Bulgakov, Atul Gawande, Lisa Sanders, Rivka Galchen, Jerome Groopman, and shorter pieces by many others. A field trip to the Yale Medical Historical Library is planned.

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search (YCS).

Jonathan Edwards

CSJE 300, Education: Writing About Your World. Jane Karr, BA, journalist. Lecturer in Yale College.

Explore one of the more dynamic beats in journalism—higher education. The issues and concerns around college today range widely, from diversity and identity to free speech and the partisan divide to admissions and affordability. Students develop articles and a personal essay aimed at publication. Guest speakers from the field of education journalism will visit.

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search (YCS).

Benjamin Franklin

CSBF 300, Making Performance on Socio-Political Questions. Eryn Rosenthal, MFA, choreographer, director, performer. Lecturer in Yale College.

This composition workshop-style course is a generative laboratory to make rigorous, experimental works that open reflection on socio-political issues. Topics include a study of other artists’ work and ways they engage with wide-ranging political matter through performance, animation, sculpture, and other media; an embodied exploration of compositional elements at different sites on Yale’s campus; and creative assignments that employ various methods to interrogate sociopolitical material of your own choosing. 

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search (YCS).

Grace Hopper

CSGH 300, Privacy, Health, and Power in the Age of Digital Over-ConsumptionLydia Martin, BA, Product Director, Presidio Networked Solutions. Lecturer in Yale College.

Exploration of the topic of “digital obesity,” focusing on how technological over-consumption affects our privacy, health, and power. We examine the topic from multiple perspectives, including through scholarly readings, primary sources in today’s media, and the students’ own lived experiences. Instead of writing typical papers, students are guided through building and presenting a “digital product.” Come prepared to examine social media, apps, devices, internet infrastructure, big data, advertising, technophobia, and digital addiction.

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search (YCS).


CSMC 300, SO, Hip Hop Music and CultureNicholas Conway, B.S., adjunct professor, and disc jockey. Lecturer in Yale College.

The evolution of hip hop music and culture from the 1970s through the 1990s, including graffiti art, b-boying (break dancing), DJ-ing, and MC-ing. Examination of the historical and political contexts in which hip hop culture has taken shape. Attention to questions of race, gender, authenticity, consumption, commodification, globalization, and old-fashioned “funkiness.” Includes three evening screenings.

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search (YCS).

Pauli Murray

CSMY 300, Coming of Age: Writing about Childhood Turning PointsElise Broach, MA, writer. Lecturer in Yale College.

This writing intensive seminar explores narrative strategies for conveying critical moments in the transition from childhood to adulthood, using examples from memoir, creative nonfiction, poetry, and fiction (including works by Alison Bechdel, Junot Diaz, Patricia Lockwood, Toni Morrison, Alice Munro, An Na, and David Sedaris). Writing assignments emphasize elements of craft, including story structure, character, voice, and tone.  

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search (YCS).


CSPC 301/CSBR 301, Music and Cinema: A History. John Mauceri, music conductor and producer. Lecturer in Yale College.

A group of photographers, chemists, and dreamers invented the movies in the last years of the great romantic century. As technology advanced this new art form, music was the invisible glue that partnered with it: music to cover the sound of the projector, music to make the experience seem linear, and music to both specify the drama and simultaneously give it a complexity that only opera was previously able to do. In a mere thirty years the “flickers” became the most successful art form in history, transcending borders and politics, and the music composed for the movies brought Western classical music of the late 19th and early 20th centuries to every corner of the world. 

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search (YCS).


CSSY 300, The Business of Venture Capital. Jorge Torres, J.D., venture capitalist and attorney, Silas Capital LLC.  Lecturer in Yale College.

A survey of the origins, practice, and business models of venture capital. Consideration of three major areas: the history and purpose of venture capital; the practical details of venture investing; and advanced topics on business models, technology ecosystems, and ethics. Particular emphasis on how venture capitalists partner with entrepreneurs to finance technology startups.

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search (YCS).


CSSM 300, Writing PortraitsDonald Barkin, MA, poet and teacher. Lecturer in Yale College.

Students write short sketches, in prose and verse, of people they know, and read examples of such sketches by well-known authors.

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search (YCS).

Ezra Stiles

CSES 300, Geo Engineering in Response to Climate ChangeWake Smith, MBA, researcher, author, Senior Industry Partner, New State Capital Partners. Lecturer in Yale College.

Insights from history, economic theory, and literature to examine interrelated questions about how prosperity is achieved and at what cost. Historical and literary overview of factors leading to the global financial crisis and its fractious aftermath. Emphasis on reading and writing about economic events. 

For course time and location, see Yale Course Search (YCS).  


CSTC 300, Leadership as Behavior. Peter Bensinger, Jr., J.D., BartlitBeck LLP,  Lecturer in Yale College.

An experiential workshop utilizing a combination of exercises, assignments, and readings designed to deepen insight into effective team leadership and to strengthen practical listening and connecting skills essential to a collaborative and inclusive team environment. Basic core skills include how to focus attention, empathic listening, asking powerful questions, expressing gratitude, creating psychological safety in your teams, giving and receiving feedback, and engaging with those with whom you disagree to understand their views, how they feel about those views, and why they feel that way. Enrollment is limited to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

For course time and locations, see Yale Course Search (YCS).