John Wenke
Professor of English

Department of English
Fulton School of Liberal Arts
Salisbury State University
Salisbury, Maryland 21801

Office: 363 Holloway Hall
Telephone: 410-543-6250
Fax: 410-548-2142


I was born on May 31, 1952 and grew up in and around Philadelphia, PA. I attended the University of Notre Dame and in 1974 I received a B.A. in English (summa cum laude). I received my M.A. (1976) and Ph.D. (1981) in English from the University of Connecticut. I have taught at Marquette University, Trinity College and Salisbury State University. I have published a book on J.D. Salinger and a book on Herman Melville.


Melville's Muse: Literary Creation and the Forms of Philosophical Fiction. (Kent State UP, 1995)
J.D. Salinger: A study of the Short Fiction. (Twayne 1991).

I have published numerous essays, reviews and short stories. At Salisbury State University I have received the Distinguished Faculty Award in 1990 and 1997 and I won an 2000 Individual Artist Award in Fiction ($6000) from the Maryland State Arts Council. I am currently writing short stories and a book on Charles Brockden Brown. I am married to Sheila Louise Hughes Wenke and we have four great and wonderful children: Jacqueline Lillian, Joseph Hughes, Benjamin Hughes, and Gabriel Hughes.

Positions Held

  • Professor of English, Salisbury State University, 1994-present; Associate Professor of English, SSU, 1987-94; Visiting Associate Professor of English, Trinity College, Spring 1989; Assistant Professor of English, SSU, 1985-87
  • Assistant Professor of English, Marquette University, 1981-85
  • Instructor of English, University of Connecticut, 1980-81
  • Teaching Assistant, Univeristy of Connecticut, 1974-80

  • University of Connecticut, 1974-81; M.A. in English, 1976; Ph.D. 1981
  • University of Notre Dame, B.A. in English, summa cum laude, 1974
  • Cardinal O'Hara High School, Springfield, PA 1970
  • Our Lady of Fatima Grade School, 1966

Dissertation: "Freedom in the Fiction of Herman Melville" directed by Milton R. Stern

Areas of Interest

  • American Literature
  • Nineteenth and Twentieth Century American Fiction
  • Colonial American Literature
  • Contemporary Fiction
  • Individual authors: Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Charles Brockden Brown, J.D. Salinger
  • Creative Writing