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

June 3, 2021
Critical race theory (CRT), a methodology that recognizes how systemic racism has shaped American history, is under fire from state leaders and parents for its role in the K-12 educational system. Here's what parents should know about this important topic.
February 15, 2021
Laurents Bañuelos-Benitez can count on one hand how many teachers of color he had while growing up in east Las Vegas.
June 5, 2020
In the wake of millions of people taking to the streets to protest police brutality against black Americans — the most recent example of which involved the killing of George Floyd — and demand racial justice, white parents raising white children want to know how they can encourage the next generation to do better. The key: teaching anti-racism. As activist, scholar and writer Angela Davis has stated, “In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.”
April 22, 2020
UNLV’s College of Education is providing story time videos for children online.

Articles Featuring Kenneth J. Varner

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Campus News | July 9, 2021

A collection of news stories highlighting remembrance and improvement at UNLV.

Claytee White sits in a chair and gestures toward a woman sitting to her right
Arts and Culture | December 30, 2020

A sampling of university experts who sounded off on the year’s monumental movements surrounding race, ethnicity, and gender.