Assistant Professor

of Early North American History and the College


On Research Leave 2017–2018

PhD 2015 University of Pennsylvania


Mailing Address

The University of Chicago
Department of History
1126 E. 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

kruer@uchicago.edu


Field Specialities

Early American history; Native American history; popular politics; colonial violence; mobility and migration; race and ethnic identity; the history of emotions


Biography

I am a scholar of early modern North America exploring the relationship between Native American power and colonial violence.

My current book project, The Time of Anarchy: Colonial Rebellions and the Wars of the Susquehannocks, 1675–1685 (under contract with Harvard University Press), examines a tumultuous decade during which Virginia colonists rebelled against their government, Maryland colonists launched two uprisings, and North Carolina colonists initiated a full-blown revolution. These colonial insurrections were closely connected with a spasm of wars among indigenous nation ranging from the Great Lakes and the Deep South. Framing this chaotic violence as a single event, which I call "the Time of Anarchy," my work shows that these seemingly distinct conflicts were connected by the scattering of the Susquehannocks, a once-powerful Indian nation of central Pennsylvania. Expelled from their homes by colonial militia and scattered across much of eastern North America, these refugees exerted a political influence wildly disproportionate to their numbers, in the process reshaping both Indian nations and English colonies. This project explores the forms of power exercised by seemingly weak and vulnerable indigenous migrants, who in their struggles for survival and resurgence drove political struggle and social change in early America.

This book is based on my doctoral dissertation, which was awarded the 2016 Allan Nevins Prize for best-written dissertation on an American topic by the Society of American Historians. My research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the University of Oxford, the American Philosophical Society, the American Historical Association, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and the Huntington Library, among others.

During the 2017–2018 academic year I am on leave as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University's Mahindra Humanities Center.


Publications

"Bloody Minds and Peoples Undone: Emotion, Family, and Political Order in the Susquehannock-Virginia War." William and Mary Quarterly 3rd ser., 74, no. 3 (July 2017): 401–436.