Wayne became a full-time faculty member at the University of Iowa in 2016 as a Lecturer in the Rhetoric Department. However, he has been teaching classes here since 2004, first as a Graduate Assistant and then as a Visiting Professor for the Departments of Rhetoric and American Studies and the Tippie College of Business. After growing up on a farm in southwestern Minnesota, he received a B.A. in English and history from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. He later earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa, where he wrote his dissertation on the importance of rural Iowa as a setting in prominent cultural texts during the Great Depression.
His teaching and research interests include visual rhetoric, the history and culture of the rural Midwest, and popular culture representations of American history. He is an active member of the Agricultural History Society, for which he currently serves as the Annual Meetings Advisor and an elected member of the Executive Committee. His book chapter, “The Visual Culture of the 1980s Farm Crisis” will be published by Oxford University Press in the forthcoming Oxford History of the Midwest. Another chapter, “‘Beautiful Land of Make-Believe’: Rural Iowa in 1930s Hollywood” appears in Pieces of the Heartland: Representing Early Twentieth-Century Midwestern Places, an anthology published by Hastings College Press in 2018.