OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

Geraldo Cadava

Portrait of Geraldo Cadava

Geraldo Cadava teaches in the history department at Northwestern University. He is the author of two books, Standing on Common Ground (2016), about the U.S.-Mexico border since World War II, and The Hispanic Republican (2020) about how the Republican Party developed a remarkably loyal base of Hispanic support since the 1960s. His research and teaching interests are broad and include Latinx, immigration, and borderlands history, and the relationship between the past and the present. At Northwestern, he has taught courses on Watergate, the musical Hamilton, and the history of the 2016 election.

Featured Lecture

OAH Lectures

This talk is about my second book, to be published in May 2020. It would be an overview of how the Republican Party developed a loyal base of Hispanic support from the 1960s forward, and how it maintained that support even after taking a hard right turn on immigration and border issues. It is also, therefore, about how Donald Trump won a significant minority of the Hispanic vote--approximately 30 percent--even though he based his campaign, and much of his first time, on appeals to the anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic sensibilities of his supporters.
This talk is based on my new research project, about fears of the racial transformation of the United States from the 1960s to the present. The book ends are the signing of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which led to increased migration from Latin America, Asia, and Africa, and the presidency of Donald Trump, whose administration has tried to roll back the tide of demographic change. It can be argued that fears of the looming white minority has been the driving force of support for him.
This lecture will be based on a course that I've co-taught at Northwestern, about Lin Manuel Miranda's hit musical, Hamilton. I will focus not on whether or not Hamilton gets history right, but rather on why Lin Manuel Miranda--Puerto Rican, raised in New York--was drawn to the figure of Alexander Hamilton as a way of explaining how the United States became the country it is today.
This lecture will explain the history of Mexican immigration to the United States from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Major moments of focus will be the Mexican Revolution, the Great Depression, the Bracero Program, Operation Wetback, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, and the present.
This lecture will be about the evolution of the border between the United States and Mexico--and debates about that border--from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. The bookends of the talk will be the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo after the U.S.-Mexico War, before which there was no border to speak of, and Donald Trump's chants of "Build the Wall" in the 21st century.