Photo of Helen Kennedy

Helen Kennedy

Ph.D. Candidate

Degrees:B.A. Hons., (Prince Edward Island), M.A, (Victoria)

Current Program:

Ph.D. History (2018)


Dr. Dominique Marshall and Dr. Candace Sobers

Academic Interests:

Humanitarian aid; 20th century conflict and genocide; displaced populations; international intervention; public discourse; psychological trauma; United Nations; peacekeeping; former Yugoslavia

Select Publications and Current Projects:

Kennedy, Helen. “’Obsessive Attention to Bosnia:  Media Representation of the Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières in the Bosnian War, 1992-1995.” Honours Thesis, University of Prince Edward Island, 2011.

Kennedy, Helen. “’Fearsome Limbo: The Media’s Characterization of Psychological Trauma During the Conflict in Kosovo, 1998-1999.” M.A Thesis, University of Victoria, 2013.

Select Conference Contributions:

Kennedy, Helen. “Challenging Understandings of the Relationship between Humanitarian Intervention, Humanitarian Aid Organizations, and Peacekeeping in Bosnia, 1992-1995.” 7th GRAINES Summer School, Prague, June 2019.

Kennedy, Helen. “The War on Terror and Human Rights.” Guest Lecture, Carleton University, March 2019.

Kennedy, Helen. “War, Masculinity, and Mental Health:  British Construction of Shell Shock, 1914-1918.” Qualicum Graduate History Conference, Qualicum, March 2013.

Kennedy, Helen. “Médecins Sans Frontières and the Red Cross in the News:  A Case Study of Medical Practice in a Conflict Zone.” Canadian Society for the History of Medicine Annual Conference, Fredericton (Congress), June 2011.

Teaching Experience:

Theories and Foundations of Human Rights (P. Gentile), Fall 2018

Introduction to Human Rights (S. Sadaf), Winter 2019

Theories and Foundations of Human Rights (P. Gentile), Fall 2019

Description of Research:

My current work examines the international intervention to the conflict in Bosnia in the 1990s with a particular focus on the relationship between the United Nations peacekeeping force and humanitarian aid organizations.  The mandate for the peacekeeping force was to protect and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid supplies throughout the region.  My contention is that this focus on humanitarian assistance by a military force altered the relationship between military and humanitarian intervention by conflating the two practices.  This had ramifications for the efficacy of aid delivery as well as for how the international community chose to respond to subsequent crises.  My work will focus largely on how the understanding of the conflict within donor countries (both at a governmental and public level) resulted in this style of so-called “humanitarian intervention.”