Professor Kenny's research focuses on religion, race, and gender in the United States and Atlantic World. She is working on a book about the afterlives of Protestant women missionaries that focuses on the practices of Christian cosmopolitanism among ecumenical organized churchwomen between 1900-1960. From performing pageants to engaging in humanitarianism and refugee relief to advocating for the United Nations, churchwomen promoted an understanding of world Christianty and Christian citizenship among ordinary American Protestants. Her book-in-progress - tentatively titled Christian Cosmopolitanism - offers a gendered history of early twentieth-century ecumenical Protestantism focused on the way practices of "cooperation," prayer, pageantry, and humanitarianism mediated tensions as a diverse collective of churchwomen confronted questions of racial and religious difference in the United States and internationally amid anti-imperialism and new post-WWII visions of a new world order. Her article, "The World Day of Prayer: Ecumenical Churchwomen and Christian Cosmopolitanism," will appear in the Journal of Religion and American Culture in Summer 2017.
At Barnard, Professor Kenny teaches courses in American religious history, including Religion in America I and II, Defining Marriage, and a First-Year Seminar on Utopias. She has also taught the department's methodology course, Religion Lab, and Senior Seminar.
Religion in America I
Religion in America II
Religion and Empire (new course!)
Her publications include:
“Race Sympathy and the Missionary Sensibility in the New England Colonization Movement, 1817-1833,” in Beverly C. Tomek, ed., Reconsiderations and Redirections in the Study of African Colonization (University of Florida Press, 2018).
“Manliness and Manifest Racial Destiny: Jamaica and African American Emigration in the 1850s,” Journal of the Civil War Era (June 2012): 151–78.
Contentious Liberties: American Abolitionists in Post-Emancipation Jamaica (University of Georgia Press, 2010).
“Reconstructing a Different South: The American Missionary Association in Jamaica,” Slavery and Abolition (September 2009): 445-66.
Co-author with Chandler Davidson, Tanya Dunlap, and Benjamin Wise “Vote Caging as a Republican Ballot Security Technique,” William Mitchell Law Review 34:2 (2008): 533–62.
“Mastering Childhood: Reconciling Paternalism and Separate Spheres Ideology in the Children’s Literature of Caroline Howard Gilman,” Southern Quarterly 44 (Fall 2006): 65–87.