He work has focused on the intersection of film, new media, and spectatorship, exploring their operation in creation of identity and shaping of family and gender roles. Her work includes How Art Engages Us at the Tanner Lectures Roundtable with Peter Sellars, Ric Collier, David Baddley, and Bill Viola at the 27th Annual Tanner Lecture on Human Values, and consideration of phenomenology in film viewing in her piece Seeing & Believing: Re-Visioning Ourselves & Film, both in 2007. She also gave a presentation at the Hell and Its Afterlife: Comparative and Historical Perspectives National Conference entitled Hell on Screen: Contemporary Guardian Demons, and gave a presentation, entitled My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys: Performing Gender, at University Film & Video Association National Conference.
In 2001, Swenson won the 2001 Faculty Women's Association Creative Work Award for her research in film. In 2015, she was on the conference committee for the Video Game Studies Symposium hosted at BYU.