Stephen Dobbs

Associate Professor, BA(AsSt) PhD Murd.

  • The University of Western Australia (M257), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Stephen was awarded his Ph.D in 2000. He been involved in teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students at Murdoch University, University of Adelaide and The University of Western Australia since the early 1990s.

Roles and responsibilities

Stephen is currently the Offshore Coordinator for the School of Social Sciences.

He teaches first year units in the Asian Studies Major as well as second year, honours and masters level units.

Funding overview

2010 Australian Learning and Teaching Grant (part of a team coordinated by Professor Caroline Baillie from Engineering)
2006 UWA Small Grant

Previous positions

Stephen has taught previously in Asian Studies at Murdoch University and in History at Adelaide University.

Current projects

He is currently working on labour history projects in Singapore's early industrialisation.

Teaching overview

Stephen teaches the following first year and upper level Asian Studies units.

ASIA1001 Asian Societies and Cultures
ASIA1002 Asia From Colonial to Modern
ASIA2001 Culture Society and the State in Asia

*Teaching Award Nominations*

Excellence in Teaching Nomination 2017
Excellence in Teaching Nomination 2016
Excellence in Teaching Nomination 2013
Excellence in Teaching Nomination 2010
Excellence in Teaching Nomination 2009 (Also Research Supervision category).
Excellence in Teaching Nomination 2008
Excellence in Teaching Nomination 2007


Stephen has a long standing research interest in the social and political history of Southeast Asia with a particular interest in Singapore and Malaysia.
He has written extensively on the history and early development of the Port of Singapore and maintains an ongoing interest in the port’s role in contemporary Southeast Asia and global maritime trade.
He is also researching aspects of environmental history and development relating to the Isthmus of Kra in Thailand during the period of European colonialism in the region.
His interest in environmental issues and history in the Southeast Asian region has involved research relating to issues around water and development along the Mekong River and Timor Leste.



Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Research expertise keywords

  • Social History
  • Singapore And Malaysia
  • Colonial History
  • Asian studies
  • Social history and practice
  • Singapore history, politics and society
  • Southeast Asian social, political and maritime history
  • Environmental and social justice issues in Southeast Asia
  • Islam in Southeast Asia


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