Photo of Rainer F. Buschmann

Rainer F. Buschmann

Professor, History

Contact Information


Ph.D History, University of Hawai`i at Manoa, 1999
M.A. Anthropology, University of Hawai`i at Manoa, 1993


Rainer F. Buschmann is Professor of History at the California State University Channel Islands (CI). His training in anthropology awoke a passion for oceanic settings that took him to Hawai’i (where he obtained his M.A. in anthropology and his Ph.D. in history), and lastly the California Channel Islands. He has formerly taught at Hawai`i Pacific University and Purdue University. At CI, he was a founding faculty member of the history program contributing to a curriculum that actively emphasizes global history.

His publications explore European perceptions of the Pacific Ocean in an attempt to recover this body of water’s global history, a largely understudied area in contemporary scholarship. He is author of Anthropology's Global Histories: The Ethnographic Frontier in German New Guinea, 1870-1935 (U of Hawai`i Press, 2009) and Oceans in World History (McGraw-Hill, 2007). He has collaborated with Edward Slack and James Tueller on Navigating the Spanish Lake: The Pacific in the Iberian World, 1521-1898 (U of Hawai`i Press, 2014). His most recent monograph is Iberian Visions of the Pacific Ocean, 1507-1899 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). He has also co-edited the award winning Encyclopedia of the World's Oceans (ABC-CLIO 2018). He has held visiting fellowships at the Institute of Social Studies at the University of Lisbon and the European Institute of Global Studies at the University of Basel. He is section editor for world history at the History Compass and co-edits a publication series entitled Studies in Pacific Worlds issued by the University of Nebraska Press.

His current research and publication efforts aim at exploring the colonial collection of ethnographic artifacts from New Guinea and the Iberian contributions to the making of Pacific Worlds.

Representative Courses Taught

  • HIST 212 World History From 1500
  • HIST 319 European History, 1871-1945
  • HIST 340 History and Psychology of Nazi Germany
  • HIST 365 Themes in World History
  • HIST 366 Oceans of World History
  • HIST 380 History of the Pacific
  • HIST 323 Iberian Global Expansions
  • HIST 491 Historiography
  • HIST 342 Environmental History



World History, History of the Pacific, Oceans and History

Additional Teaching and Research Information