Varner Honored Abroad as Eminent Visiting Scholar


Dr. Kenny Varner, the Shirley B. Barton Endowed Associate Professor had a full fall semester, traveling to Australia as the Eminent Visiting Scholar (EViS) at the University of Southern Queensland, as a distinguished visiting scholar at Germany’s Philipps-Universität Marburg and visiting scholar at Croatia’s Zagreb University.

Varner shared, “It was a thrill to be recognized by three distinct universities in different parts of the globe as having something of value and worth to share.  I learned a lot from the incredibly insightful students and faculty at each of these institutions, and it reminded me of the importance of connecting our engagement worldwide.”

Varner gave invited lectures at all three universities on a wide range of topics including culturally responsive pedagogical approaches, critical cultural literacy and language, teacher professional education and development, as well as examining the political and economic landscapes for learning in this political moment. During his visits he also worked with faculty and students at each university. In Australia, he evaluated the work they are doing with the development of multicultural coursework, in Germany he workshopped with pre-service teachers on critical pedagogy, and in Croatia he engaged with first year early childhood pre-service teachers to look at the role of race and ethnicity on teacher development.  In all three spaces he engaged in collaborative research and partnership development enhancing LSU’s globally engaged footprint. 

Varner’s areas of scholarly expertise and interest center on the intersections of identity in globalized contexts. Varner examines the nature of White Racial Identity (WRI), Critical Race Theory (CRT), and Culturally Relevant Pedagogy as well as international education, neo-liberalism, and educational foundations within global contexts. He has published articles in the journals: Teacher’s College Record, Educational Foundations, Democracy in Education, and Social Identities: Journal for the Studies of Race, Nation, and Culture among others and has edited and authored over 10 books related to these areas of expertise. 

Varner studied Language, Literacy, and Culture with a focus on Critical Race Theory and Culturally Relevant Pedagogy at The Ohio State University in Columbus Ohio and is a faculty member of the Curriculum Theory Project as well as the African and African-American and Women and Gender Studies programs at LSU.

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