Academic Profile

Michael Yeo works on the histories of commodities, mobility, and urbanization in maritime Southeast Asia during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He received his DPhil in History from the University of Oxford in 2021. His doctoral thesis was about the emergence of Sandakan and Jesselton as the principal urban centres of northern Borneo from the late nineteenth century and their integration into Asia’s social and economic worlds. He also holds a BA in History from the School of Oriental and African Studies and an MSc in Economic History from the London School of Economics. From 2018 to 2020, Michael was the co-investigator for a research project funded by the National Heritage Board, “Culinary Biographies: Charting Singapore’s History through Cooking and Consumption”.
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Asst Prof Michael Yeo
Assistant Professor, School of Humanities

Chartered companies
Commodity histories (especially opium, pineapple, and tea)
Imperialism in Borneo (especially Sabah, East Malaysia)
Intermediate, non-metropolitan, peripheral, secondary, and small cities
Port cities and port towns
The Industrial Revolution in Asia
Mobility and migration
  • Yeo, Michael. “Singapore Pineapples: The Rise and Decline of a Tropical Industry, 1900s–1920s.” In The Pineapple from Domestication to Commodification: Re-Presenting a Global Fruit, edited by Melissa Calaresu and Victoria Avery. Oxford: Oxford University Press, [under contract].

  • Lee, Cassey, Chew Ging Lee, and Michael Yeo. “Determinants of Singapore’s Outward FDI.” In Outward Foreign Direct Investment in ASEAN, edited by Cassey Lee and Sineenat Sermcheep, 79–102. Singapore: ISEAS Publishing, 2017.

  • Low, Patrick, and Michael Yeo. “The Emergence of Mega-Regional Trade Agreements and the Future of the WTO.” In Regionalism in the Asia-Pacific, edited by Masahiro Kawai and Sanchita Basu Das, 323–340. Singapore: ISEAS Publishing, 2016.