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Geraldo L. Cadava

Associate Professor

Ph.D., Yale University, 2008
Curriculum Vitae


Geographic Field(s):  American History, Since 1900

Thematic Field(s):  Political and Policy History

Principal Research Interest(s):  Latino, Borderlands, Migration to and From Latin America


Geraldo L. Cadava (Ph.D., Yale University, 2008) is a historian of the United States and Latin America. He focuses on Latinos in the United States and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. Originally from Tucson, Arizona, he came to Northwestern after finishing degrees at Yale University (Ph.D., 2008) and Dartmouth College (B.A., 2000).

Cadava is finishing a book about the history of Hispanics and the Republican Party since the 1960s, to be published by Ecco in early 2020. His essays on this topic have appeared in the Los Angeles Times and the NACLA Report on the Americas, and on,, and

He has been awarded fellowships for this book from the Stanford Humanities Center, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

His first book, Standing on Common Ground: The Making of a Sunbelt Borderland (Harvard University Press, 2013 in hardcover, 2016 in paperback), was about the Arizona-Sonora borderland since World War II. It won the Frederick Jackson Turner Award, given annually by the Organization of American Historians.

Writing related to Standing on Common Ground was published by the Journal of American History, The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Immigration Policy Center. The book was supported by fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, Mellon Mays Graduate Initiatives, and a Huggins-Quarles Prize from the Organization of American Historians.

Cadava teaches courses on Latinx History, the American West, the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, migration to and from Latin America, and other topics in U.S. History, including Watergate, the 2016 election, and the musical Hamilton.

Affiliated Programs


Teaching Interests 

Cadava teaches undergraduate and graduate courses—both lectures and seminars—on Latino History, North American Borderlands, Comparative World Borders, the American West, and social, cultural, and political histories of the United States and Latin America.

Recent Awards and Honors 

  • 2015: Stanford Humanities Center, External Faculty Fellowship (declined).
  • 2014: Frederick Jackson Turner Award, Organization of American Historians.
  • 2012-2013: Northwestern University Order of Omega Greek Award, “Outstanding Faculty Member”
  • 2011-2012: Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship.
  • 2011-2012: Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty.
  • 2011-2012: Research Institute at the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, Stanford University, External Faculty Fellowship (declined).
  • 2011-2012: The Bill & Rita Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University, Research Fellowship (declined).
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