U.S.-Mexico Borderlands; Latina/o; Mexican American; United States
Office: Harris Hall #210
Geraldo Cadava (Ph.D. Yale University, 2008) specializes in United States history, with a particular focus on the U.S.-Mexico borderlands and Latino populations. Originally from Tucson, Arizona, he came to Northwestern after finishing degrees at Yale University and Dartmouth College (B.A., 2000). He teaches courses on Latino History, the United-States Mexico Borderlands, Conservatism in the Americas, Comparative American Borderlands, Comparative World Borders, the American West, and the United States since the colonial period.
During the 2015-2016 academic year he will be a Visiting Scholar in the Department of History and the Katz Center for Mexican Studies at the University of Chicago.
He is currently working on a book titled The Roots of Latino Conservatism: Empire, Capitalism, and Culture from 1810 to 2010. It is about the evolution of conservatism among Latinos from the age of Latin American independence through the rise of political figures such as Marco Rubio. The Roots of Latino Conservatism will demonstrate that conservatism among Latinos in the United States was forged in the crucible of U.S.-Latin American relations, and that what distinguishes Latino conservatism from mainstream American conservatism—what’s “Latino” about Latino conservatism, in other words—is the emphasis that Latinos place on immigration and hemispheric economic, military, and cultural relationships.
His first book Standing on Common Ground: The Making of a Sunbelt Borderland (Harvard University Press, Fall 2013) won the 2014 Frederick Jackson Turner Award from the Organization of American Historians. It addresses the shared cultural and commercial ties between Arizona and Sonora that show how the United States and Mexico continue to shape one another despite their political and ethnic divisions. From the 1940s forward, a flourishing cross-border traffic developed in the Arizona-Sonora Sunbelt, as the migrations of entrepreneurs, tourists, shoppers, and students maintained a densely connected transnational corridor. Politicians on both sides worked to cultivate a common ground of free enterprise, spurring the growth of manufacturing, ranching, agriculture, and service industries. These modernizing forces, however, created conditions that marginalized the very workers who propped up the regional economy, and would eventually lead to the social and economic instability that has troubled the Arizona-Sonora borderland in recent times.
That project received support from the Ford Foundation; the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation; Mellon Mays Graduate Initiatives Programs; and a Huggins-Quarles Prize from the Organization of American Historians.
His other research interests include the U.S.-Mexico border in all time periods; frontiers and borders around the world; memories of the U.S.-Mexico War between 1846 and 1916; and the movement of Mexican and Mexican American artists between Mexico and the United States, from 1920 to 2000.
His writing has appeared in The Journal of American History, The New York Times, The Atlantic online, the San Francisco Chronicle online, the Arizona Daily Star, and in the publications of the Immigration Policy Center, the National Park Service, and the American Historical Association.