Assistant Professor

of Early North American History and the College


PhD 2015 University of Pennsylvania


Mailing Address

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

Harper Memorial Library, East Tower, room 689 – Office
(773) 834-6794 – Office telephone
(773) 702-7550 – Fax

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, Time of Anarchy: The Susquehannock Nation and the Crisis of English Colonialism (under contract with Harvard University Press), is based on my doctoral dissertation, which was awarded the 2016 Allan Nevins Prize by the Society of American Historians. It examines the tumultuous decade between 1675 and 1685, 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 nations 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.for survival and resurgence drove political struggle and social change in early America.

I am working on several additional projects, including studies of the taking of captives and ethnic identity among Iroquoian peoples; the brief occupation of New York by the Dutch during the Third Anglo-Dutch War (1672–1674); and the Anglo-Indigenous encounter in the Caribbean.  

My research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Historical Association, the American Philosophical Society, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Huntington Library, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the Virginia Historical Society, the University of Oxford, and the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University, among others.


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): 401–36.


News

Awarded Allan Nevins Prize, Society of American Historians