Workshop: “Honour Thy Father and Thy Mother”: Violence Against Parents in Past and Present

Workshop Announcement:

“Honour Thy Father and Thy Mother”:  Violence Against Parents in Past and Present
St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford, Oxford, 6-7 July 2015

Convened by:
Dr. Raisa Maria Toivo (University of Tampere, Finland)
Prof. Marianna Muravyeva (Oxford Brookes University, UK)


6 July, Monday
11.00-11.30 – Opening session
Introduction by the coveners Raisa Toivo and Marianna Muravyeva

11.30-13.00 –Session 1: Motives and Opportunities in Contemporary Parricides
Chair/Discussant: Marianna Muravyeva
"Degenerative Parricides: Attitudes to Killing Parents in the 19th-century Russian Criminal Justice System"
Marianna Muravyeva
"Parricide and psychic violence in the family setting"
Florian Houssier
"Exploring the offense trajectory of fatal and non-fatal violence towards parents across the life cycle"
Amanda Holt and Phillip Shon

13.00-14.30 – lunch

14.30-16.00 – Session 2:Exemplary Parricides in the Modern European North
Chair/Discussant: Karen Hassan Jansson
"'His disobedient son': A trial case study from Finnmark, Northern Norway, from the mid-eighteenth century"
Liv Helene Willumsen
"Appropriation and Fictionalisation in Representations of Parricide: The Thorvald     Sletten Murder Case 1899-1907"
Silje Warberg
"'So No-One Could Hear Her Scream': A matricide in Northern Denmark that challenged legislators and shook a community
Annette Ekström Larner

16.00-16.30 – Tea

16.30-18.00 – Session 3: Historicising Parricide: Localities and Identities
Chair/Discussant:Manon van den Heijden
"The cases of parricide in the courts of Early Modern Estonia and Livonia"
Ken Ird
"Gender and the Historicity of Parricide: A Case Study from the 19th-Century North American West”
Peter Boag
"Sources of conflict in South Korean parricides, 1948-63"
Phillip Shon

7 July, Tuesday
09.00-10.30 – Session 4: Violence and Ideal Family in Eighteenth-Century Europe
Chair/Discussant: Garthine Walker
"'You would have them lock me up and sell me as slave': Parents and children in eighteenth-century Wallachia"
Constanţa Vintilă-Ghiţulescu
"'A Timely Warning to Rash and Disobedient Children': Normative Literature and Violence against Parents in England over the Long Eighteenth Century"
Jim Sharpe
"Non-lethal assaults against parents in early modern Munich: perspectives on fatherhood"
Satu Lidman

10.30-11.00 – Coffee

11.00-12.30 – Session 5: Generational Conflicts and Parental Authority
Chair/Discussant: Raisa Toivo
"Disapproval of parental violence against children through the example of forced monachization in Eighteenth Century France"
Alexandra Roger
"Choosing the bridegroom: Guardianship and conflicts between generations in eighteenth century Sweden and Finland"
Jonas liliequist
"Words and Deeds: Children’s violence towards their Parents in 19th Century Romanian Society"
Nicoleta Roman

12.30-14.00 – Lunch

14.00-15.30 – Session 6: Struggling with Parental Authority in Early Modern Europe
Chair/Discussant: Krista Kesselring
"Violence against parents in eighteenth-century Denmark"
Nina Koefoed
"Bad Parenting and Parent abuse in early modern Finland: Scandal, rumour and emotion"
Raisa Toivo
"Violence against paternal authority figures: The prosecution of catholic priests and protestant ministers during the great witch-hunts"
Rita Voltmer

15.30-16.00 – Tea

16.00-17.30 – Session 7: Methodologies and perspectives on studying parricide and violence against parents
Closing discussion moderated by Marianna Muravyeva and Raisa Toivo

Incidents and patterns of violence against parents, understood as any act by children that intimidates or harms the parents, have gained an increasingly high profile in recent years. But while it is commonly portrayed as a modern phenomenon rooted in a perceived crisis of family policies, parenting styles or communication problems, recent research into the history of domestic violence has documented the nature, extent, and contexts within which parent abuse and parricide occurred in the early modern period in Northern Europe and beyond. This workshop studies the forms and methods of intra-family violence from the origins of modern states' formation unto the present day. It aims to map out the state of the art of the research on family violence and especially on violence by children against their parents, to bring together the current specialists, to compare early modern and current ideas and to suggest further points of research. The main research themes include attitudes to family power relations and hierarchies, permissibility of the usage of violence in the family, forms and types of violence against parents, gender-based analysis of violence against parents, patricides and matricides.

This is the second, concluding workshop organised by the Joint Committee for Nordic Research Councils for the Humanities and the Social Sciences as part of a wider Marie Curie funded project on parricide held by Prof. Marianna Muravyeva. The first workshop, on the "Nordic Family, Violence and Modernity" met in Tampere 22-24 Mary 2014 and focused on the concepts and challenges of family and family violence in early modern and modern Northern Europe (project webpage).

If you would like to attend the workshop in part or whole, please follow the below link but keep in mind that the 25 available spaces will be awarded on a first-come basis and that we cannot fund travel or accommodation: Registration Form

For further information, please contact Tudor Georgescu (