Nicholas Villanueva
Assistant Professor • Director of Critical Sports Studies
Critical Sports Studies • Chicana/o Studies

Office Location: Ketchum 285



Ph.D., Vanderbilt University - History, 2013
M.A., Vanderbilt University - History, 2009
B.A., Missouri University of Science and Technology - History, 2006

Reseach Interests

Race, gender, sexuality, and sport; nationhood and nationalism; lynching and collective violence in modern U.S. history

Nicholas (Nick) Villanueva is Director of Critical Sports Studies and lecturer of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he also has affiliation with the Center for the American West. He is a first generation college student originally from Gary, Indiana, but grew up in the Chicago metro area. Villanueva earned his Ph.D. in History with a concentration in Race and Ethnicity in 20th Century U.S., from Vanderbilt University, 2014. His first book, Lynching of Mexicans in the Texas Borderlands, examines the increase in Mexican lynching during the first ten years of the Mexican Revolution, 1910-1920. As few other works have, his book explores the increase in Mexican lynching cases in the Texas borderlands. This work contributes to the historical work on lynching, global perspectives of violence, and borderland studies by differentiating between the lynching of African Americans and the borderland lynching of ethnic Mexicans. He asserts that the latter was about contesting citizenship and sovereignty in the Texas borderlands. His book reconstructs some of the earliest efforts by ethnic Mexicans to organize the defense of their rights as Americans. His second book, Politics, Protest, and Social Justice in Sport, is scheduled for publication in February 2018. He is currently working on his third book, (Un)Making Citizens: Segregation and Assimilation of Mexicans in the Texas Borderlands. His fellowships and awards include the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ford Foundation, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Excellence in West Texas History Association, and the Walter Prescott-Webb publishing award. An avid outdoors person, Villanueva is thrilled to call Boulder, Colorado his home.

Selected Publications


Villanueva, Nicholas. Politics, Protest, and Social Justice in Sport (Textbook and Reader). McFarland Press, 2018.

Villanueva, Nicholas. Lynching of Mexicans in the Texas Borderland. University of New Mexico Press, 2017. (see pdf)

Refereed Articles

Villanueva, Nicholas. “Sincerely Yours for Dignified Manhood: Lynching, Violence, and American Masculinity During the Early Years of the Mexican Revolution, 1910-1914,” Journal of the West, 49, (2010), 41-48.

Contributions to Edited Collections

Villanueva, Nicholas. “Decade of Disorder: The Execution of Leon Martinez, Jr., and the First Four Years of the Mexican Revolution,” in Douglas W. Richmond and Sam Hayes, eds., The Mexican Revolution: Conflict and Consolidation, 1910-1940 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2013), 7-34.

Works in Progress

Book-length Manuscript. (Un)Making Citizens: Segregation and Assimilation of Mexicans in the Texas Borderlands, advance contract with the University of New Mexico Press.

Article Manuscript. “Rationalizing Hate: Political Rhetoric and Anti-Mexican Violence in the Texas Borderlands,” accepted with revisions in Western Historical Quarterly. 

Article Manuscript. “Paradox of Masculinity in the American West,” pending publication with the Journal of Sport History.