Teaching

Students enjoy my classes because they focus on thinking through history. Incorporating historiographical controversies and provocative primary sources, I expose students to the difficulties of studying societies and cultures through the imperfect sources they left behind. The appreciation for complexity, the scholarly empathy, and the sensitivity for language students gain in my class serve them in their studies and beyond — as do the writing skills they develop along the way.

For over a decade, I have been teaching diverse students in varied institutional settings. Before Yale, I taught AP classes in social studies and many area studies as well as language classes while serving in the Israeli Defense Forces. My record of teaching at Yale includes undergraduate classes in History and the Humanities, as well as a year-long M.A. workshop for thesis writers.

I am both prepared for and experienced in teaching European, Middle Eastern, Eurasian, and global history at all levels. My portfolio also includes cross-regional methodological classes, and I am interested in developing classes that use original-language sources, too.

My teaching portfolio includes the following syllabi, which I am happy to share upon request:

  1. Begetting Hitler: Central Europe, 1848-1918
  2. What Ancient Hatreds? Yugoslavia in European History
  3. Europe’s Turbulent Modernity, 1789-1989
  4. Introduction to the Modern Middle East
  5. World History, 1750-2000
  6. A Global History of Work
  1. The Russian Empire as a Multinational State
  2. Coming-of-Age in Twentieth-Century Europe
  3. After Empire: Central Europe and the Middle East, 1918-1939
  4. Youth, Politics, and Literature in Modern Europe
  5. Social Truths and Fiction in Eurasia, 1880-1968
  1. Problems in Twentieth-Century History
  2. Industrialization in Eurasian History
  3. Reading & Writing Grand Narratives
  4. Linguistics for Historians
  5. Sociology of Literature
  6. The Bildungsroman
  1. Reading Slavic Languages (for students with 4 semesters of any Slavic language)
  2. Katharevousa (“Purified”) Greek (for students with either Modern or Ancient Greek)
  3. Ottoman Turkish and Paleography (both for students with Modern Turkish and without)
  4. Reading Chagatai (both for students with another Turkic language and without) 

Students say...

“Orel made my semester — at office hours he went above and beyond to offer to help my learning in many ways, including offering to help my writing skills, offering supplemental book recommendations, and study abroad advice. I can’t praise Orel enough!!!!!!”

“He balanced out the philosophical focus of the lectures by using his knowledge as a social historian to ground the ideas in real world history. In other words, he often focused on the impacts these ideas had on real people. Orel’s expertise in language was also enlightening because this class deals with a large swath of thinkers using various languages.”

“Orel was an incredible instructor. He was passionate about the material, articulate in his explanations of complex ideas, and always prepared for any question that came his way. I enjoyed his teaching style and the enthusiasm he brought to every class. Orel is without a doubt one of my favorite teachers in my four years at Yale.”

“Orel also taught in an engaging way by at once making us learn new information that would deepen our knowledge of the topics, while also encouraging students to participate at their will. As such, there was no coerced sense of “I need to talk,” so conversations flowed very smoothly and everyone was deeply engaged.

Overall assessment, Fall 2022 (4.7)
4.7/5

compared to…

Departmental average (4.4)
4.4/5
School average (4.2)
4.2/5