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Our researchers have expertise in the history of blasphemy, infanticide, violence in society, sex crimes and forensic medicine.
A foundation of this approach has been to engage with contemporary agendas in many of these areas and to relate these to past paradigms. This has enabled members of this research group to work with professional practitioners, lawyers, NGOs, government departments and transnational organisations as a method of achieving wider research Impact.
A hallmark of this approach has also been this research area’s involvement with the international SOLON Project and its network of University partnerships, in which Brookes has taken a leading role. The research group has hosted international conferences (in Britain and abroad) and operates a regular seminar series at Brookes that has both a national and international focus. Two book series (with Routledge and Bloomsbury) are edited or jointly edited by members of the research group.
Current projects include studies of the history of homicide; medico-legal practice in England and Wales; shame in the twentieth century; crime and politics; religion, crime and the law; and the history of crime in eastern Europe.
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School of History, Philosophy and Culture
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
+44 (0)1865 483580
Professor Anne-Marie Kilday was educated at the University of St Andrews before completing her PhD in History at the University of Strathclyde. Her work has been supported by grants and fellowships from the British Academy, the Wellcome Trust and the ESRC. She has been teaching at Oxford Brookes since 2001. Professor Kilday is now the Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Professor Kilday has supervised MA dissertations on a range of topics including juvenile crime, female deviance, domestic violence, gang warfare, serial killing and capital punishment.
She is currently supervising doctoral research students working on counterfeiting, forgery and fraud in eighteenth and early nineteenth century England and Wales; violence and masculinity in the eighteenth century; and, judicial systems and crime in eighteenth century Gloustershire and Oxfordshire. Professor Kilday welcomes applications from students interested in the history of crime and punishment in Europe and Beyond since 1600.
Crime, gender and punishment since the early modern period in both European and global contexts, with particular reference to crimes of violence.
The history of crime in Britain in the eighteenth century, with a particular emphasis on gender and crime, and gender specific crimes such as infanticide, along with more comparative interests in violent and non-violent criminality in terms of national and regional trend variations in the early modern period.
The history of punishment in Europe in the early modern period, reflecting interests in the development of attitudes towards certain types of crime and certain types of criminals and how they were punished both by the authorities, and by the society of the day.
Currently Anne-Marie is writing two research monographs, one for Routledge and one for Palgrave. The first relates to a history of violence in Scotland (for Routledge) and the second is a history of homicide in Britain since 1600 (for Palgrave).
This monograph traces the use, abuse and negotiation of the concept of shame from 1600-1900. The book shows good and bad behaviour, morality and perceptions of crime in British society at large, and identifies the changing interaction between popular and official notions of shame. Each of the chapters is a single episode in the ongoing history of shame contextualized by two chapters which discuss the historiography and theory of shame and their implications for the history of crime and social relations. The wide acceptance and utility of shame, as the early episodes in the book suggest, became manifestly less obvious during the eighteenth century. The traditional uses and functions of shame were questioned, yet the growth of the public sphere allowed some of its messages to become recast in modern forms. The last examples in the book demonstrate shame's longevity and relevance beyond the arrival of modernity.
Providing a rounded and coherent history of crime and the law spanning the past 400 years, Histories of Crime explores the evolution of attitudes towards crime and criminality over time. Bringing together contributions from internationally acknowledged experts, the book highlights themes, current issues and key debates in the history of deviance and bad behaviour, including:marital cruelty and adultery, infanticide, murder. the underworld, blasphemy and moral crimes, fraud and white-collar crime, the death penalty and punishment. Individual case studies of violent and non-violent crime are used to explore the human means and motives behind criminal practice. Through these, the book illuminates society's wider attitudes and fears about criminal behaviour and the way in which these influence the law and legal system over time. This fascinating book is essential reading for students and teachers of history, sociology and criminology, as well as anyone interested in Britain's criminal past.
Historians of the eighteenth century have only partially theorized about the relationship between poverty and crime; in particular, few have attempted to measure its nature and extent in detail. Moreover, such scholarship has investigated the phenomenon in urban environments, rather than rural contexts. This article examines the incidence of theft in the eighteenth century and utilizes Oxfordshire as a prosperous rural area. By seeking to eliminate endemic poverty from such calculations, the article more accurately investigates whether a link between crime and poverty is evident. By blending qualitative and quantitative approaches, the article also provides a suggested methodology for further micro-histories of this kind across a range of socio-economic areas in Britain and beyond during the early industrial period.
This piece investigates trends in criminal prosecutions in nineteenth-century Scotlandand considers whether fears of a crime epidemic which were prevalent in Englandat that time were also relevant in the northern context. Using legal prosecutions forrobbery more specifically, the article offers an analysis of indictment trends whichsuggests the existence of a paradox in Scottish criminality, where in a context ofheightened awareness and intensified concern about criminality (especially in relationto violent offences) the incidence of this type of criminality declined after the midpointof the century. The piece also offers an investigation of the nature and incidenceof robbery in Scotland during the nineteenth century and determines how the crimewas carried out, by whom, and for what purpose. Comparisons are drawn between theScottish and English experience of violent theft in order to establish certain distinctivecharacteristics about how robbery was committed north of the Tweed and to reasonwhy a wider and more detailed analysis of crime in nineteenth-century Scotland iswarranted. Finally, the article offers some explanations for the decline in robbery andother violent offences in Scotland after 1850, including reference to the ‘civilisingprocess' hypothesis which merits closer attention in the context of Scottish criminalhistory.
This paper has two aims. Firstly it will illustrate the nature of child murder in 18th century Scotland, a country where infanticide practices appear anomalous compared to those encountered elsewhere. Secondly, the paper will consider how attitudes to this type of gendered criminality were voiced by legal authorities, contemporary social commentators, the media and the wider populace. The piece hopes to shed light on how infanticidal women were regarded, whether these opinions filtered into the legal process women faced, and whether these attitudes changed over time and for what reasons. This investigation will be all the more interesting to undertake in relation to a country which was experiencing rapid change during the 18th century, and where the 'moral' legislative body, in the form of the Kirk Session, was desperately trying to negotiate and maintain its grip on the 'common' people, despite the growth of a more secular, commercially orientated society.
This special issue focuses on the crime of infanticide in three of the four constituent nations of the British Isles: England, Scotland and Ireland. The papers collectively point to the fact that although families and communities could be a source of support for women in crisis, they were also the route by which many instances of infanticide were revealed. In addition, the evidence here suggests that the signifi cance of religious cohesiveness to family and community relations may, in some contexts, have encouraged infanticide to occur, due to a pressure to maintain respectability in religiously observant communities. The fact that the crime occurred regardless of the moral climate in each nation suggests that women faced with the reality of bearing a bastard weighed it against the possible consequences of committing infanticide and decided to take the risk. Thus the role of religious belief in the actions of married and unmarried infanticidal women emerges as a unifying contextual theme that is likely to stimulate further research.
The notion that Scotland has long been depicted as a lawless, ‘uncivilized' nation by its more ‘civilized' southern counterpart is a historical red herring. Rather, it was not until the nineteenth century, when a general moral panic regarding crime and criminal activity took hold across Britain as a whole, that Scotland, in particular, was portrayed as a bad example to its neighbours south of the Tweed. By the mid-nineteenth century, the link between rising crime and social disintegration was strongly felt in a Scottish context. This article discusses the historiography of crime and criminality (including violence) in early modern Scotland. It also examines the extent to which the nineteenth-century concept of the ‘Barbarous North' was applicable to Scotland during the early modern era. The article analyses nearly 6,500 criminal prosecutions brought before the Scottish Justiciary Court between 1700 and 1830.
Professor Kilday is on the editorial board of the e-journal Crimes and Misdemeanours: Deviance and the Law in Historical Perspective and the advisory board of the journal Crime, History and Societies.
Membership of Professional Bodies
Professor Anne-Marie Kilday was educated at the University of St Andrews before completing her DPhil in History at the University of Strathclyde. Her work has been supported by grants and fellowships from the British Academy, the Wellcome Trust and the ESRC. She has been teaching at Oxford Brookes since 2001. Professor Kilday is now the Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences after being Associate Dean for Research and Knowledge Transfer in the Faculty for a number of years. Anne-Marie is also Chief External Examiner for Kellog College, University of Oxford.
In 2014 Professor Kilday was awarded 'Most Inspirational Lecturer' in the annual Oxford Brookes Students' Union Teaching Awards.
Professor Kilday's specialist teaching focuses on the history of violent crime and its punishment in Britain and America. The subject of crime is examined through a range of different contexts and perspectives in order to come to a fuller understanding of its importance over time and place.
She is currently supervising doctoral research students working on counterfeiting, forgery and fraud in eighteenth and early nineteenth century England and Wales; violence and masculinity in the eighteenth century; and, judicial systems and crime in eighteenth century Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire.
Anne-Marie is a member of the British Society of Criminology, Social History Society, Higher Education Academy and SSHA Criminal Justice / Legal History Network.