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 also 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 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.
KSNV-TV: News 3
April 21, 2020
UNLV has created a "story time" resource for children and families amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Articles Featuring Kenneth J. Varner

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.
A UNLV banner on campus.
Campus News | July 2, 2020
A collection of news stories featuring the people and programs of UNLV.
Business and Community | April 20, 2020
UNLV College of Education assembles online library of books amid coronavirus pandemic to help support children, parents, teachers.