Professor AthearnThe late Dr. Robert G. Athearn (1914–1983) was a professor of Western History at the University of Colorado at Boulder from 1947 until his retirement in 1982. An extraordinarily productive scholar, his publications included Westward the Briton (1953), Union Pacific Country (1971) The Coloradans (1976), The Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad: Rebel of the Rockies (1977), The Mythic West in Twentieth Century America (1986), and William Tecumseh Sherman and the Settlement of the West (reprint 1995).

Professor Athearn was one of the founders, as well as past president, of the Western History Association. Additionally, during his career held numerous positions on historical committees, academic societies, and editorial boards. His impact as a teacher was equally great. He instructed thousands of undergraduate students over the years, and trained a score of contemporary Western historians in the profession he loved. As part of his legacy, Professor Athearn endowed a lectureship in the History Department at the University of Colorado at Boulder to be held on topics in Western history. We continue to host the Athearn Lecture Series, and encourage you to join us at the next Athearn Lecture. 

UPCOMING: 32nd Athearn Lecture 


Geraldo L. Cadava

Professor of History, Northwestern University 

“The Hispanic Republican: Unpacking Latino Conservation”

The Department of History at CU Boulder, in partnership with Boulder Public Library, presents the 32nd Athearn Lecture in the History of the American West. This year’s lecture will be by Dr. Geraldo L. Cadava, a Professor of History at Northwestern University, who will be speaking about his recent book, The Hispanic Republican: The Shaping of an American Political Identity, from Nixon to Trump (HarperCollins, 2021).

Thursday, January 26, 2023 / 5:30 PM / Hale Science Building, 270, Reception and book signing follows in Hale 230

1350 Pleasant Street, Boulder, CO. 80302

Reception and Book-Signing to Follow. Email: ( for information on this free public event


Geraldo L. Cadava - 32nd Athearn LectureGeraldo 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).

He 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/HarperCollins in 2020. His first book was Standing on Common Ground: The Making of a Sunbelt Borderland, published by Harvard University Press in 2013.

Other writing has appeared in The Journal of American History, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and elsewhere. You can learn more about his public-facing writing and media appearances on his website:

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, and the 2016 and 2020 elections. He is also the Director of the Latina and Latino Studies Program.