Born in Iowa, raised in Colorado, Susan Shillinglaw graduated with a B.A. in English and Art from Cornell College and earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Since 1984, she has been a Professor of English at San Jose State University (currently FERPing), where she was Director of the University’s Center for Steinbeck Studies for 18 years. In 2012-13 she was named the SJSU President’s Scholar. She was also Director of the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas from 2015-2018.
Dr. Shillinglaw has published widely on John Steinbeck, most recently Carol and John Steinbeck: Portrait of a Marriage (U of Nevada P, 2013) and On Reading The Grapes of Wrath (Penguin, 2014); and A Journey into Steinbeck’s California (3rd edition, 2019) She also wrote introductions to several of Steinbeck books for Penguin New American Library editions. Currently, she is writing a book Steinbeck’s landscapes.
She has served on the boards of Hopkins Marine Station, the Cannery Row Foundation, SJSU’s Center for Steinbeck Studies, the National Steinbeck Center, the Monterey Museum of Art and the Western Flyer Foundation.