Dr. Patrick Luck joined the Florida Poly faculty for the first semester of classes in fall 2014 and teaches a variety of American history classes, including classes on the history of slavery and Native Americans. He also teaches a survey of the history of science and technology in world history.
Luck’s pedagogy emphasizes developing students’ critical thinking skills in a student-centered classroom. In many of his classes he uses Reacting to the Past, “an active learning pedagogy of role-playing games designed for higher education.” Through this pedagogy, students learn how to think historically while also practicing and improving academic skills
Luck’s research interests focus on the history of slavery in the Americas and the United States. His first book, Replanting a Slave Society: The Sugar and Cotton Revolutions in the Lower Mississippi Valley, analyzes the lower Mississippi valley’s sugar and cotton revolutions, which occurred and were consolidated in the years before and after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, and highlights the far-ranging, even national, consequences of these revolutions and what they illustrate about the functioning of slavery in the United States.
Luck’s next book-length project is a study of the intertwined lives of John McDonogh, a merchant, land-speculator, and sugar planter, and two young men he enslaved, David and Washington McDonogh. The book will explore how John’s paternalistic anti-slavery ideals opened new possibilities for David and Washington but also how the young men used those possibilities to make their own, independent lives in a society deeply antagonistic toward African-Americans.
Luck has presented his scholarship at prestigious conferences such as the annual meetings of the American Historical Association, the Southern Historical Association, the Louisiana Historical Association, the Society of Historians of the Early Republic, the Social Science History Association, and the Florida Conference of Historians.