Photo of Stephen Dobbs

Stephen Dobbs

Associate Professor, BA(AsSt) PhD Murd.

  • The University of Western Australia (M257), 35 Stirling Highway, Room G10, Social Sciences Building, Perth campus

    6009 Perth


  • 14 Citations
  • 1 h-Index
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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.




  • 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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  • 5 Similar Profiles
Singapore Social Sciences
redevelopment Social Sciences
industrialization Social Sciences
river Social Sciences
worker Social Sciences
urban renewal Social Sciences
industry Social Sciences
work permit Social Sciences

Research Output 2001 2019

Open or Bordered? Singapore, Industrialisation and Malaysian Workers

Dobbs, S. & Loh, K. S., 3 Apr 2019, In : Asian Studies Review. 43, 2, p. 206-223 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

work permit

Unsafety and Unions in Singapore’s state-led industrialization, 1965–1994

Dobbs, S. & Seng Loh, K., 23 Aug 2019, In : LABOR HISTORY.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Indians in Singapore, 1819-1945: Diaspora in the Colonial Port City

Dobbs, S., Dec 2017, In : The American Historical Review. 122, 5, p. 1586-1587 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Engineers Engaging Community: Water and Energy

Oldham, C., Crebbin, G., Dobbs, S. & Gaynor, A., 2013, USA: Morgan and Claypool.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Projects 2006 2006