Kenworthy's work sits at the intersections of medical anthropology, public health, and politics. She has been working and conducting research in southern Africa (Lesotho and South Africa, primarily) since 2005. Much of her research explores the impacts of global health initiatives on diverse communities, and the politics of global health governance. She has published a few books on these topics, including Mistreated: The Political Consequences of the Fight Against AIDS in Lesotho (2017, Vanderbilt University Press), and the co-edited volume, Case Studies in Corporations and Global Health Governance: Impacts, Influence, and Accountability (with Ross MacKenzie and Kelley Lee, eds., 2016, Rowman & Littlefield).
Her current projects look at a few interrelated phenomena. With support from the Simpson Center for the Humanities, she is working with two colleagues to examine the history, contemporary practices, and future trajectories of global health partnerships between the US and Africa. And with Dr. Lauren Berliner (UWB, IAS), she is conducting research on how crowdfunding platforms are being used to cope with the enormous financial and emotional burdens of illness and debility, in both the US and in global health contexts.