Kenneth J. Varner

Associate Professor of Literacy Education
Expertise: Literacy, Language, White Racial Identity, Culturally Relevant Pedagogy


Kenneth Fasching-Varner’s research centers around the intersections of identity and difference in globalized contexts, with attention to the language and literacy practices of individuals and communities.

His work examines the nature of White Racial Identity, Critical Race Theory, and Culturally Relevant Pedagogy as well as the role of international education, neoliberalism, and educational foundations within global language and literacy contexts. Varner is also an expert on the school-to-prison pipeline.

Varner is the author of over 70 publications including articles in Teacher’s College Record, Educational Foundations, Democracy in Education, and Social Identities: Journal for the Studies of Race, Nation, and Culture.


  • Ph.D., Education and Critical Race Theory, The Ohio State University
  • M.S., Literacy, St. John Fisher College
  • B.A., Education, Niagara University

Kenneth J. Varner In The News

It's not always simple, but here are questions to ask to make sure your kid's Halloween costume doesn't cross the line.
Every Halloween, the phrase "cultural appropriation" comes up in conversation — so, what is that? How do we explain it to children? And how can families make sure their Halloween costumes aren't distasteful?
The Christian Science Monitor
When Kenny Varner attended the 60th birthday party of a family member recently, he was somewhat startled after the conversation turned to the enduring appeal of “Goodnight Moon.”  
K.V.V.U. T.V. Fox 5
New funding opened a program at UNLV last year to attempt to make a dent in the teaching shortage at the Clark County School District. The first cohort graduated from the Professional Pathways Project this summer and are now teachers at the school district.

Articles Featuring Kenneth J. Varner

UNLV cheerleaders during 2022 homecoming
Campus News | November 8, 2022

A collection of news stories highlighting UNLV students and faculty who made headlines locally, regionally, and internationally.

Dancers with the UNLV Ewalu Club
Campus News | October 4, 2022

A collection of news stories highlighting research wins, expert insights, and academic achievement.

a teacher and student in a classroom
Campus News | March 7, 2022

A collection of news stories highlighting the experts and events at UNLV.