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Geraldo L. Cadava

Professor of History, Wender-Lewis Teaching and Research 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 Cadava (Ph.D., Yale University, 2008) is a historian of the United States. He focuses on Latinos in the United States, the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, and Latin American immigration. 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 the author of two books. Most recently, he wrote The Hispanic Republican: The Shaping of An American Political Identity, from Nixon to Trump, published by Ecco in 2020. His first book was Standing on Common Ground: The Making of a Sunbelt Borderland, published by Harvard University Press in 2013. He is working on a third book, an overview of Latino History since the Spanish conquest called A Thousand Bridges, to be published by Crown.

He is a Contributing Writer for The New Yorker, Co-Editor-in-Chief of Public Books, and author of the Substack newsletter Latinos in Depth. Other writing has appeared in The Journal of American History, The New York Times, The Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and elsewhere.

Cadava teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on Latino 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 musical Hamilton, the 2016 and 2020 elections, and the History of College Sports. He is also the Director of the American Studies Program.

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

  • 2019-2020: Northwestern University, Associated Student Government, Faculty Honor Roll
  • 2019: Stanford Humanities Center, External Faculty Fellowship
  • 2019: Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University (declined)
  • 2019: Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University (declined)
  • 2019: The Alumnae of Northwestern University Research Grant
  • 2018: Northwestern University, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Weinberg College Community Building Award
  • 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).