Robert Kruckeberg | Troy University

Robert Kruckeberg

Dr. Kruckeberg

Robert Kruckeberg

On December 27, our friend, colleague, and professor Robert Kruckeberg passed away after a brief illness. From the time of his diagnosis until his passing, he got married, became a father, and took care of his family, even as they took care of him.

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“ I only took one class with Kruck but that was enough to collect stories I'll probably tell forever. I took history of western thought a couple of years ago. I remember the debate I went through during registration: my two choices were bioethics...at a time like 2 PM, or western thought with Kruck at 8:30 AM. I am, as you probably know, a confirmed night owl and so wasn't eager for the early start, but it was that or discuss organs...so there I was.   I got up at 7:30 AM every Tuesday and Thursday for months to discuss the dry, often nonsensical writings of dead white male philosophers, and the only reason it was all worth it was Kruck. That experience was one of the big clues that I needed to change my major; there was one particular day early in the semester when I woke up to the noxious tones of my alarm and thought, "God, I just don't want to get up. This bed is way too soft and warm. I know it's cold outside too." But then I thought, "well, I did really want to discuss that Francis Bacon reading." And so I did. ”

A Troy Student  |  History, 2020

Dr. Kruckeberg

Education:

B.A., University of North Texas, 1999 
Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2009

Research Interests:

Old Regime France, Eighteenth-Century Europe, the Enlightenment, French Revolution, and the Atlantic World

Commencement Day

Biography

Robert Kruckeberg was Associate Professor of History at TROY University and received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 2009. He came to Troy in the fall of 2012, and remained a dedicated colleague, professor, and friend until his passing at the end of 2020. Before coming to TROY , he taught at the University of Mississippi, Alfred University, and Kalamazoo College. He was working on a book manuscript titled The Wheel of Fortune in Eighteenth-Century France: The Lottery, Economic Change, and Political Transformation. This project examined the development of lotteries in France during the eighteenth century from small charitable lotteries to the largest state run lottery Europe had ever known in the Royal Lottery. The project used the lotteries to examine the intersection between political and economic transformation that preceded the French Revolution in 1789 and continued on during the Revolution itself. More broadly, he was interested in the rise of modern financial capitalism and its connection with the rise of modern political culture.

Courses Taught at TROY:

Western Civilization I and II 
French Revolution and Napoleon 
Early Modern France 
Age of Absolutism 
Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment 
The Caribbean 
Modern European Intellectual and Cultural History 
Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe

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“Kruck's irreverent teaching style meant that I felt completely comfortable walking into the class and starting the discussion with "what the hell was that??" He was always ready and willing to talk about how downright weird the reading was. Our discussion experience was supplemented by lectures, which also included just how weird the authors were. My friends and I could be ourselves with him, engaging with the class in the way we did best: by saying stupid stuff. Other teachers did not always appreciate this approach, but it was Kruck's modus operandi as far as I know.”

A Troy Student  |  History, 2020