Michael Conniff

Michael Conniff



What research questions currently preoccupy you?

Mostly Panama since 1980, for a new manuscript.

What personal factors contributed to your research?

I went to Panama in 1965, and I’m still trying to understand the country.

What has been most challenging in your research?

Funding is always a constraint in research, as well as access to sources.

How has your position in SJSU contributed to your research?

While an administrator I had resources to travel. The librarians have been great, knowing that Spanish and Portuguese are essential to good research.

A hidden (research) talent:

For many years I worked with cliometrics but no longer do so.

One book that changed your life (or research) and why:

David McCullough's Path Between the Seas, and his endorsement for my first Fulbright grant.

A website/journal/newspaper (in your field?) you follow without fail:

Three sources to stay in touch: New York Times for world, vamaganews.wordpress.com for Panama, and a weekly news feed by David Fleischer on Brazil.

Advice you’d give to newer faculty or students:

Talk to lots of people and sources—engage with participants.

RSCA Accomplishments

Accomplishments: Bacardi Family Distinguished Professor (on Panama) at Univ. Florida, Spring 2014,
3rd edition of A History of Modern Latin America, UC Press, forthcoming 2017.