Photo of 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
B.A. Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1990


Rainer F. Buschmann is professor and chair 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 the author of Oceans in World History (McGraw-Hill, 2007), Anthropology's Global Histories: The Ethnographic Frontier in German New Guinea, 1870-1935 (U of Hawai`i Press, 2009) and Iberian Visions of the Pacific Ocean, 1507-1899 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). He has collaborated on Navigating the Spanish Lake: The Pacific in the Iberian World, 1521-1898 (U of Hawai`i Press, 2014) and Exploring Iberian Counterpoints in the Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Pacific (Routledge, 2024). His most recent published monograph is "Hoarding" New Guinea: Writing Colonial Ethnographic Histories for Post-Colonial Futures (U of Nebraska Press, 2023). He has also co-edited the award-winning Encyclopedia of the World's Oceans (ABC-CLIO 2018), now contracted for a second edition. 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 also co-edits a publication series entitled Studies in Pacific Worlds issued by the University of Nebraska Press.

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