Conniff, Michael L.

Conniff, Michael L.

Date Updated




Academic Rank

Full Professor

Year Retired from SJSU


SelectedWorks Profile Page

Michael L. Conniff

Educational Background

University of California, 1968, BA, Latin American Studies

Stanford University, 1969, MA, Latin American Studies

Stanford University, 1976, Ph.D., History

Dissertation Title

Rio de Janeiro during the Great Depression, 1930-1937

Teaching Experience

University of New Mexico, 1975-1990

Auburn University, 1990-1997

University of South Florida, 1997-2002

San Jose State University, 2002-2012, FERP 2012-2016

Administrative and Professional Experience

Co-director, Institute for Latin American Studies, Auburn, 1991-1995

Founding director, Institute for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, USF, 1997-2002

Founding director, Global Studies Initiative, SJSU, 2002-2012

Associate Dean, College of Social Sciences, SJSU, 2009-2012


I came to SJSU to create the Global Studies Initiative, that consisted of a new BA degree, faculty development, grant writing and administration, study abroad, and research promotion through the Silicon Valley Center for Global Innovation and Immigration, on a 0.8 FTE appointment. I managed several million dollars in grants and contracts. The remaining 0.2 appointment was in the History Department, where I taught part time and conducted my own research.

Selected Publications

Ten books and scores of articles, including:

Africans in the Americas: A History of the Black Diaspora. With Thomas J. Davis, editors and contributors. New York: St. Martin's Press, 356 pp., 1994. New printing by Blackburn Press, 2003-.

Populism in Latin America. Editor and contributor. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 243 pp., 1999. Revised edition, 2012.

A New History of Modern Latin America. Co-author with Lawrence Clayton. Ft. Worth: Harcourt Brace, 550 pp., 1999. New editions by Thompson, Belmont CA, 2005, and University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 2017 (with Susan Gauss).

Modern Panama: From Occupation to Crossroads of the Americas. Co-author with Gene E. Bigler. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2019. Spanish edition by City of Knowledge, Republic of Panama, 2019.

Personal Commentary

SJSU allowed me to achieve my highest levels of productivity and satisfaction as a professor of history and an administrator. The challenges loomed yet the rewards repaid the efforts invested.


Conniff, Michael L.