Dr Peter Hobbins

BA BSc Melbourne MMedicalHum PhD Sydney
Research Associate

A18 - Brennan MacCallum Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 3035
Fax +61 2 9351 3918

Website Phonebook Entry
The Quarantine Project: The Archaeology and History of Quarantine
Twitter

Biographical details

As a historian of science, technology and medicine, I am particularly interested in how knowledge is generated and applied, especially through interactions with non-humans. Forming part of my larger interest in the structures and projects of Australian medical research, my doctoral thesis investigated medical and scientific studies of venomous animals in colonial Australasia. I was delighted when this research was awarded the University of Sydney's 2014 Rita and John Cornforth Medal for PhD Achievement. In 2013 I joined the Department of History as a Research Associate for the ARC Linkage project, ‘Archaeology and History of Quarantine’. Through this collaborative project I am investigating interactions between people, diseases, technologies and shifting conceptions of citizenship in both civilian and military populations. I am exploring a new direction in aviation safety and crash investigations, especially how wartime research translated into military and civil operations after 1945.

Research interests

  • History of Australasian science, technology and medicine
  • Animals and technologies as historical actors
  • Military medicine and defence science
  • Aviation safety

Teaching and supervision

Postgraduate unit

HSTY6988 Contagion: History and Culture

Postgraduate seminar

The other in history

Research supervision

I am happy to act as an associate supervisor for honours, masters or doctoral projects in the history of science and medicine, Australian colonial or military history, and Australian historical archaeology.

Current projects

Stories from the sandstone: archaeology and history of quarantine. Drawn from the inscriptions and structures at Sydney’s former Quarantine Station, my research explores the intersections between disease, defence and citizenship. In particular, I am interested in the ways in which sites and artefacts, from hospitals and bunkers to aircraft and troopships, become diseased places and actors.

Black box re-order: aviation safety as a technocultural commodity. I am currently developing a new project focused on Australian systems of aviation safety in civil and military settings, 1940–70. This will include both research into human-technology interactions and the forensics of air crash investigations.

Associations

Associate Editor, Health and History

Book Reviews Editor, Historical Records of Australian Science

Secretary, NSW Branch, Australian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine

Conference convening committee, Mission, Methods and Management, Australian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine Biennial National Conference – Australian Catholic University, Sydney, Australia, 30 June – 3 July 2015

In the media

ABC Radio Brisbane, ‘Ever wondered how the first settlers to Australia and New Zealand worked out what animals were likely to kill them?’. Available on Soundcloud here.

ABC 730, 5 June 2013, ‘Stories set in stone reveal gems from the past’. Available on the ABC website here.

Book Reviews

Hobbins, Peter, ‘Bacteriology in British India’ (book review), Health & History 16, no. 1 (2014): 122–4.

Hobbins, Peter, ‘A Medical Emergency: Major-General ‘Ginger’ Burston and the Army Medical Service in World War II’ (book review), Historical Records of Australian Science 24, no. 1 (2014): 113–14.

Hobbins, Peter, ‘Life’s Logic: 150 Years of Physiology at the University of Melbourne’ (book review), Historical Records of Australian Science 24, no. 1 (May 2013): 160–1.

Hobbins, Peter, ‘Enigma, gift, commodity, curse – Review of The Bleeding Disease: Hemophilia and the Unintended Consequences of Medical Progress’ (book review), Metascience 22, no. 2 (2013), 399–403.

Hobbins, Peter, ‘Discovery of Australia’s Fishes: a History of Australian Ichthyology to 1930’ (book review), Historical Records of Australian Science 23 , no. 2 (November 2012): 229–31.

Hobbins, Peter, ‘Camouflage Australia’ (book review), Historical Records of Australian Science 23, no. 1 (May 2012): 78–80.

Hobbins, Peter, ‘Cane Toads: an Unnatural History and Cane Toads: the Conquest’ (film review), Historical Records of Australian Science 23, no. 1 (May 2012): 86–7.

Hobbins, Peter, ‘War Wounds: Medicine and the Trauma of Conflict and More Than Bombs and Bandages: Australian Army Nurses at Work in World War I’(book review), Historical Records of Australian Science 22, no. 2 (November 2011): 304–5.

Hobbins, Peter, ‘Snake-Bitten: Eric Worrell and the Australian Reptile Park’ (book review), Historical Records of Australian Science 22, no. 1 (June 2011): 182–4.

Hobbins, Peter, ‘Shattered Anzacs: Living With the Scars of War’ (book review), Health and History 11, no. 2 (2009): 149–51.

Hobbins, Peter, ‘War and Medicine’ (book review), Health and History 11, no. 1 (2009): 183–4.

Selected publications & creative works

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Book Chapters

  • Hobbins, P. (2014). Imperial Science or the Republic of Poison Letters? Venomous Animals, Transnational Exchange and Colonial Identities. In Robert Aldrich, Kirsten McKenzie (Eds.), The Routledge History of Western Empires, (pp. 285-298). London: Routledge.
  • Hobbins, P. (2014). Invasion ontologies: Venom, visibility and the imagined histories of arthropods. In Jodi Frawley and Iain McCalman (Eds.), Rethinking Invasion Ecologies from the Environmental Humanities, (pp. 181-195). Oxon: Routledge.
  • Bashford, A., Hobbins, P. (2013). Science and medicine. In Alison Bashford, Stuart Macintyre (Eds.), The Cambridge History of Australia: Volume 2: The Commonwealth of Australia, (pp. 263-283). New York, USA: Cambridge University Press.
  • Hobbins, P. (2009). Hair is your symptom. In Suzanne Boccalatte and Meredith Jones (Eds.), Trunk Vol. One: Hair, (pp. 3-5). Sydney, Australia: Boccalatte Pty Ltd.

Journals

  • Hobbins, P., Forsyth, H. (2013). Mobilising medical knowledge for the nation, 1943-49. Health and History, 15(1), 59-79. [More Information]
  • Hobbins, P. (2011). ‘Immunisation is as Popular as a Death Adder’: The Bundaberg Tragedy and the Politics of Medical Science in Interwar Australia. Social History of Medicine, 24(2), 426-444. [More Information]
  • Hobbins, P. (2010). "Outside the Institute there is a Desert": The Tenuous Trajectories of Medical Research in Interwar Australia. Medical History, 54(1), 1-28.
  • Hobbins, P., Hillier, K. (2010). Isolated cases? The history and historiography of Australian Medical Research. Health and History, 12(2), 1-17.
  • Hobbins, P. (2010). Serpentine Science: Charles Kellaway and the Fluctuating Fortunes of Venom Research in Interwar Australia. Historical Records of Australian Science, 21(1), 1-34. [More Information]
  • Hobbins, P. (2007). 'Living in hell but still smiling': Australian Psychiatric Casualties of War during the Malaya-Singapore Campaign, 1941-42. Health and History, 9(1), 28-55.
  • Hobbins, P., Winkle, K. (2007). The forgotten successes and sacrifices of Charles Kellaway, director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, 1923–1944. Medical Journal of Australia, 187(11/12), 645-648.
  • Hobbins, P. (2005). Compromised Ethical Principles in Randomised Clinical Trials of Distant, Intercessory Prayer. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 2(3), 142-152.

Edited Journals

  • Hobbins, P., Hillier, K. (2010). Isolated Cases? The History and Historiography of Australian Medical Research. Health and History, 12(2).

Textual Creative Works

  • Hobbins, P. (2013). Spectacular Serpents: Snakebite in Colonial Australia. Venom: Fear, Fascination and Discovery, (pp. 37 - 44). Melbourne, Australia: Medical History Museum, University of Melbourne.

Magazine / Newspaper Articles

  • Hobbins, P. (2014). Snake Germs and Professor Halford’s Webs. Chiron 2013.
  • Hobbins, P. (2012). Why don't we cuddle funnel-webs? The Conversation.
  • Hobbins, P. (2011). Snake Germs and Professor Halford’s Webs. University of Melbourne Archives Bulletin.

2014

  • Hobbins, P. (2014). Imperial Science or the Republic of Poison Letters? Venomous Animals, Transnational Exchange and Colonial Identities. In Robert Aldrich, Kirsten McKenzie (Eds.), The Routledge History of Western Empires, (pp. 285-298). London: Routledge.
  • Hobbins, P. (2014). Invasion ontologies: Venom, visibility and the imagined histories of arthropods. In Jodi Frawley and Iain McCalman (Eds.), Rethinking Invasion Ecologies from the Environmental Humanities, (pp. 181-195). Oxon: Routledge.
  • Hobbins, P. (2014). Snake Germs and Professor Halford’s Webs. Chiron 2013.

2013

  • Hobbins, P., Forsyth, H. (2013). Mobilising medical knowledge for the nation, 1943-49. Health and History, 15(1), 59-79. [More Information]
  • Bashford, A., Hobbins, P. (2013). Science and medicine. In Alison Bashford, Stuart Macintyre (Eds.), The Cambridge History of Australia: Volume 2: The Commonwealth of Australia, (pp. 263-283). New York, USA: Cambridge University Press.
  • Hobbins, P. (2013). Spectacular Serpents: Snakebite in Colonial Australia. Venom: Fear, Fascination and Discovery, (pp. 37 - 44). Melbourne, Australia: Medical History Museum, University of Melbourne.

2012

  • Hobbins, P. (2012). Why don't we cuddle funnel-webs? The Conversation.

2011

  • Hobbins, P. (2011). Snake Germs and Professor Halford’s Webs. University of Melbourne Archives Bulletin.
  • Hobbins, P. (2011). ‘Immunisation is as Popular as a Death Adder’: The Bundaberg Tragedy and the Politics of Medical Science in Interwar Australia. Social History of Medicine, 24(2), 426-444. [More Information]

2010

  • Hobbins, P. (2010). "Outside the Institute there is a Desert": The Tenuous Trajectories of Medical Research in Interwar Australia. Medical History, 54(1), 1-28.
  • Hobbins, P., Hillier, K. (2010). Isolated Cases? The History and Historiography of Australian Medical Research. Health and History, 12(2).
  • Hobbins, P., Hillier, K. (2010). Isolated cases? The history and historiography of Australian Medical Research. Health and History, 12(2), 1-17.
  • Hobbins, P. (2010). Serpentine Science: Charles Kellaway and the Fluctuating Fortunes of Venom Research in Interwar Australia. Historical Records of Australian Science, 21(1), 1-34. [More Information]

2009

  • Hobbins, P. (2009). Hair is your symptom. In Suzanne Boccalatte and Meredith Jones (Eds.), Trunk Vol. One: Hair, (pp. 3-5). Sydney, Australia: Boccalatte Pty Ltd.

2007

  • Hobbins, P. (2007). 'Living in hell but still smiling': Australian Psychiatric Casualties of War during the Malaya-Singapore Campaign, 1941-42. Health and History, 9(1), 28-55.
  • Hobbins, P., Winkle, K. (2007). The forgotten successes and sacrifices of Charles Kellaway, director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, 1923–1944. Medical Journal of Australia, 187(11/12), 645-648.

2005

  • Hobbins, P. (2005). Compromised Ethical Principles in Randomised Clinical Trials of Distant, Intercessory Prayer. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 2(3), 142-152.

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