My name is Brian Casserly and I have lived in the Seattle area for over 20 years, having immigrated to the U.S. from Ireland in the 1990s. I received my Ph.D. in history from the University of Washington in 2007. I have taught at Bellevue College since 2009 and have been a full time faculty member since 2012. Before joining Bellevue College as a full time instructor, I also taught at the University of Washington and at North Seattle, Highline, Shoreline, and Everett Community Colleges.
My approach to teaching is to focus on history as an academic discipline that explores change over time and which seeks to explain the causes and consequences of that change. Students in my classes examine a wide range of primary sources, i.e. accounts of the past or artifacts produced by those who experienced a particular historical period, event, etc. These might include letters, diary and journal extracts, business and government reports, speeches, newspaper/magazine articles, photos, paintings, music, etc. Students also read secondary sources, i.e. interpretations of the past developed by historians and other scholars as they seek to understand historical developments and their significance. Students in my classes should expect to spend time examining these different types of sources and using evidence from them in developing analyses for papers, discussions, and exams. In taking this approach, my aim is to help students develop skills such as critical thinking, information literacy, and effective communication.
I have taught a wide range of classes including U.S. and world history, Pacific Northwest history, U.S. environmental history, the history of U.S. immigration, U.S. foreign relations, and the U.S. military. I have also worked on research projects for Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry and for the National Park Service and other government agencies on a range of topics related to the history of the Cold War, labor, immigration, and Asian American communities in the Pacific Northwest.
When not teaching, I enjoy reading (history of course!), sailing, biking, and being taken for walks by my dogs.