Date Updated




Academic Rank

Professor Emeritus

Year Retired from SJSU


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

Brazilian Universities 1990-1994

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


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.

Lawrence Clayton, Michael L Conniff and Susan Gauss. A New History of Modern Latin America. 3Oakland(2017)

Michael L Conniff. Panama and the United States: The End of the Alliance. 3Athens(2012)

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

Michael L Conniff. The Urban Politics in Brazil: The Rise of Populism, 1925-1945 (Portuguese edition). (2006)

Michael L Conniff and Lawrence Clayton. A History of Modern Latin America. Belmont CA (2005)

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).

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-.

Michael L Conniff. Panama and the United States: The Forced Alliance. 2Athens(2001)

Michael L Conniff and Frank D McCan. Modern Brazil: Elites and Masses in Comparative Perspective. Lincoln(1991)

Michael L Conniff. Black Labor on a White Canal: Panama, 1904-1981. Pittsburgh(1985)

Michael L Conniff. Latin American Populism in Comparative Perspective. Albuquerque(1982)

Michael L Conniff. Urban Politics in Brazil: The Rise of Populism, 1925-1945. Pittsburgh(1981)

Richard M Morse, Michael L Conniff and John Weibel. The Urban Development of Latin America, 1750-1920. (1971)

Selected Articles

Michael L Conniff. "A Historiography of Populism and Neopopulism in Latin America" History Compass Vol. 18 Iss. 9 (2020)

Michael L Conniff. "Populism during the Estado Novo" Acervo Vol. 30 Iss. 2 (2017) p. 36 - 48 ISSN: 0102-700X

Michael L Conniff. The Seduction of Brazil: The Americanization of Brazil during World War II. The American Historical Review. 116(2):495-495. April 2011.

Michael Conniff. "Path of Empire: Panama and the California Gold Rush" International History Review(2009).

Michael L Conniff. "The Populists of Brazil, 1945-1966" Review of Latin American Studies Vol. 4 Iss. 1 (1991) p. 44 – 65

Michael Conniff. "Black Labor on a White Canal: West Indians in Panama, 1904-1980" The Latin American Institute at the University of New Mexico's Research Paper Series (1982).

Michael L Conniff. "The Tenentes in Power: A New Perspective on the Brazilian Revolution of 1930" Journal of Latin American Studies Vol. 10 (1978)

Michael L Conniff. "Guayaquil Through Independence: Urban Development in a Colonial System" The Americas Vol. 33 (1977)

Michael L Conniff. "Voluntary Associations in Rio de Janeiro, 1870-1945: A New Approach to Urban Social Dynamics" Journal of Inter-American Studies Vol. 17 (1975)

Selected Book Chapters

Michael L Conniff. "Promoting Global Trade: The Panama-Pacific Expositions" 1PanamaPanamá cosmopolita: La exposición de 1916 y su legado (2017) p. 18 – 77

Michael L Conniff. "Turning Point: Anglo-American Assessments of Panama in 1929-1932" PanamaHistoria y globalización: Ensayos en homenaje a Alfredo Castillero Calvo (2017) p. 199 – 212

Michael L Conniff. "Women and Populism in Brazil" University ParkGender and Populism in Latin America: Passionate Politics (2010)

Michael L Conniff. "Bain Rio de Janeiro" New YorkEducation and the Great Depression: Lessons from a Global History (2006)

Michael L Conniff. "Progressive Schools for a Democratic Society: The Great Depression and Educational Reform in Rio de Janeiro" New YorkEducation and the Great Depression: Lessons from a Global History (2006)

Michael L Conniff. "Latin America Since Independence: An Overview" BoulderLatin America: Its Problems and Its Promise (2005)

Michael L Conniff. "El Canal francés" PanamaHistoria general de Panamá (2004)

Michael L Conniff. "El Canal norteamericano" PanamaHistoria general de Panamá (2004)

Michael L Conniff. "Panama since 1903" Historia de América Latina Vol. 14 (2001)

Michael L Conniff. "Afro-West Indians on the Central American Isthmus: The Case of Panama" Wilmington, DESlavery and Beyond: The African Impact on Latin America and the Caribbean (1995)

Michael L Conniff. "Brazil from Independence to 1964" 2ndBoulder, COLatin America: An Introduction (1991)

Michael L Conniff. "Panama since 1903" The Cambridge History of Latin America Vol. 7 (1990)

Michael L Conniff. "George Westerman: A Barbadian Descendant in Panama" Wilmington DEThe Human Tradition in Latin America (1987)

Michael L Conniff. "Os tenentes no poder: uma nova perspectiva da revolução de 30" Rio de JaneiroOs Militares e a revolução de 30 (1979)

Book Reviews

Michael L Conniff. "[Review of] The Politics of Race in Panama: Afro-Hispanic and West Indian Literary Discourses of Contention - by Watson, Sonja S." Bulletin of Latin American Research Vol. 35 Iss. 2 (2016) p. 280 - 281 ISSN: 0261-3050

Michael L Conniff. "Dying to Better Themselves: West Indians and the Building of the Panama Canal, written by Olive Senior" New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids Vol. 90 Iss. 1-2 (2016) p. 177 - 178 ISSN: 2213-4360

Michael L Conniff. "[Review of] In Search of the Amazon: Brazil, the United States, and the Nature of a Region" Journal of American History Vol. 102 Iss. 4 (2016) p. 1250 - 1251 ISSN: 0021-8723

Michael L Conniff. "[Review of] Populism in Twentieth-Century Mexico: The Presidencies of Lazaro Cardenas and Luis Echeverria" The Americas Vol. 69 Iss. 2 (2012) ISSN: 0003-1615

Michael L Conniff. "[Review of] La tentación populista: una vía al poder en América Latina" Journal of Latin American Studies Vol. 42 Iss. 1 (2010) p. 189 - 190 ISSN: 0022-216X

Michael L Conniff. "[Review of] Path of Empire: Panama and the California Gold Rush" International History Review Vol. 31 Iss. 2 (2009) ISSN: 0707-5332

Invited Talks

"Panama since 1977" Stanford Center for Latin American Studies (2019)

Please see CV for presentations

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.

Copied from the SelectedWorks Faulty Profile

Professor Conniff directed the Global Studies program and also the Silicon Valley Center for Global Innovation and Immigration at San José State University. He promoted international curriculum, faculty and staff development, exchanges with foreign universities, and programs to prepare students to succeed as citizens and professionals in the world at large. Conniff earned degrees at UC-Berkeley and Stanford (Ph.D. 1976) and has published a number of books on modern history, most recently A History of Modern Latin America (wth Lawrence Clayton), Africans in the Americas (with T.J. Davis), and populism in Latin America.

He has lived overseas for a dozen years, held several post-doc appointments (including three Fullbright tours), and served in the U.S. Peace Corps. He lectures often in Portuguese and Spanish. Before joining SJSU, he taught history at the University of New Mexico and created Latin American studies programs at Auburn University and the University of South Florida.



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Conniff, Michael L.