Professor Kenny's principal area of research and teaching is the history of American immigration. He has published several books in this field. Making Sense of the Molly Maguires examines how traditions of Irish agrarian protest were translated into an American industrial setting. The American Irish: A History offers a survey of the field since 1700. Peaceable Kingdom Lost analyzes the unraveling of William Penn’s vision of harmonious co-existence for Native Americans and European colonists. Kenny’s most recent book, Diaspora: A Very Short introduction, examines the origins, meaning, and utility of a central concept in the study of migration, with particular reference to Jewish, African, Irish, and Asian history. He served as contributing editor of Ireland and the British Empire and he has published numerous articles and chapters on Irish global migration. His current research examines the intersection of American immigration history with slavery from the Revolution through Reconstruction.
“Irish Emigrations in a Comparative Perspective, 1700-present” in The Cambridge Social History of Ireland (2017).
Diaspora: A Very Short Introduction (2013).
Peaceable Kingdom Lost: The Paxton Boys and the Destruction of William Penn’s Holy Experiment (2009).
Ireland and the British Empire, Editor (2004).
"Diaspora and Comparison: The Global Irish as a Case Study," Journal of American History (June 2003).
The American Irish: A History (2000).
Making Sense of the Molly Maguires (1998).