Helen M. Kinsella is an Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She also holds affiliate faculty positions at the Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies, and the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change.

Her research focuses on the theorization of gender and armed conflict. She is currently working on a book on sleep in war. She is the author of The Image before the Weapon: A Critical History of the Distinction between Combatant and Civilian (Cornell University Press, 2011; paperback 2015), which won the 2012 Sussex International Theory Prize (The Centre for Advanced International Theory) and received an Honorable Mention for the 2012 Joseph S. Lepgold Book Prize (Georgetown University). Her work has also appeared in journals such as Review of International Studies, International Theory, Political Theory, Political Power and Social Theory, Feminist Review, among others.

Prior to joining UMN, she was an Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science and an affiliate in the Department of Gender & Women’s Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, from 2005 to 2018. She has also held fellowships at the Council on Foreign Relations and the New York University School of Law, as well as postdoctoral and predoctoral appointments at Stanford University, and Harvard University, respectively.

Educational Background & Specialties
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Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: Political Science, University of Minnesota, 2004
  • M.A.: Public Policy (Gender and Foreign Policy), Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, 1996
  • B.A.: Political Science and Gender Studies, Bryn Mawr College, 1990


  • International humanitarian law
  • International norms and institutions
  • International security
  • Gender and armed conflict
  • International relations theories
  • Contemporary political thought
  • Feminist theories