COVID-19 Emergency Student Relief Fund
To provide critically important assistance during this crisis, we have created the Claflin COVID-19 Emergency Student Relief Fund. The fund will be used to help us respond to the serious impacts of this pandemic at the University. Click here for application ยป
Close Alert

Dr. Hershell Proctor-Walden

Hershell Proctor-Walden is a goal-focused professional who has grant writing, research, managerial, program assessment and evaluation, and face-to-face and distance instructional experience.


Dr. Proctor-Walden has authored and facilitated many grants and served as a consultant in the areas of reading, writing and assessment. Her teaching style can be described best as “firm but fair” and her classroom is learning-centered. She participates in volunteer work and fundraising efforts for both lupus and muscular sclerosis (MS) as these diseases effect people in her immediate family. Her dissertation title is "(En)Acting Real Black(nesses)in the Theater: The Black Arts Movement and Wole Soyinka," which is a comparative analysis of two entities occuring at the same time but have very different constructions of a Black Aesthetic. This research provides a close read of how enactments of Blacknesses are performed in the theater.

She is originally from Greenville, North Carolina, by way of Shelby, North Carolina. She has also authored and facilitated many grants including several UNCF/Mellon Teaching and Learning grants (PI) and participant, UNCF Mellon Faculty Doctoral Fellow 2011-2012 and NEH grants (participant). Although she is has lived in all three regions of North Carolina, (Coastal, Piedmont and Mountains), Greensboro, North Carolina where she resides. Proctor-Walden is a proud graduate of North Carolina Agricultural and Technological State University, in Greensboro, NC of which she enthusiastically refers to as “The A & T” and a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. During football season, she enjoys cheering on her favorite NFL team, the Dallas Cowboys.


  • Ph. D., Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 2017. English: Literature and Criticism
  • M. A., North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, 2003. English and African American Literature
  • B. A., North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, 2001. Professional English
  • B. A., North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, 2001. Romance Languages and Literatures: Spanish

Research Interests

  • Drama of the African Diaspora;
  • Literary criticism;
  • Critical race theory;
  • Post-colonial studies;
  • African-American literature and African-American studies;
  • Curriculum development and assessment;
  • Black Aesthetic; Black Intellectual; and Black Arts Movement
  • Wole Soyinka and Soyinkan theater.

Activities and Honors

  • Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring, Livingstone College 2013
  • UNCF/Mellon/ Faculty Doctoral/Fellow 2011-12, Livingstone College 2011
  • Rising Star Teaching Excellence Award, Livingstone College 2006
  • Delta Epsilon Iota, Honors Society, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Sigma Tau Delta, Honors Society, Livingstone College
  • Modern Language Association, member
  • National Council for Teachers of English, member
  • International Black Doctoral Network, member
  • National Council for Black Studies, member
  • Who's Who in the Humanities, 2017

Recent Publications

Proctor-Walden, H. “Wole Soyinka: African Personality or Black Aesthetic?” National Council of Black Studies, Atlanta, GA. March 2012.

Recent Presentations

  • Presenter. “Why Are Black People Always Acting Up in Public? Boykin’s Triple Quandary and the Theatre of the Black Arts Movement.” The Dillard University/Harvard Hutchins Center Black Arts Movement Conference, New Orleans, LA. September 9-11, 2016.
  • Presenter. “Black Arts Movement: From Anger to Advocacy.” The Claflin Literary Arts and Film Society (CLAFS) and the English Department Lecture Series 2016-2017, Orangeburg, SC. August 30, 2016.
  • Co-Presenter. “Preparing Global Leaders by Enhancing Student Engagement with World Literature and Culture: A Roundtable.” 25th annual British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Conference, Savannah, GA. February 26-27, 2016.
  • Co- Presenter. “Invisible Woman (The Sociocultural Factors That Effect Black Women's Perceptions of Beauty).” 17th Annual ILA Global Conference on Leading Across Borders and Generations. Barcelona, Spain. October 14-17, 2015.
  • Presenter.“Creating a Culture of Assessment and Analyzing and Reporting Your Findings in TaskStream.” Faculty Professional Development, Bennett College, Greensboro, NC. May 8, 2015.
  • Presenter.“How to Write Student Learning Outcomes that Are Measureable.” Faculty Professional Development, Bennett College, Greensboro, NC. May 8, 2015.
  • Presenter.“From Black Atlantic to Black Internationalism: Blackness Has Boundaries?” 1st Annual Provost Distinguished Lecture Series 2014-2015. Bennett College, Greensboro, NC. April 2015.
  • Co-Presenter. “Recognized Harlem Renaissance Voices in Marginalized Spaces—A Campus-Wide Initiative.” UNCF/Mellon Faculty Teaching and Learning Institute at Paine College, Augusta GA. November 2013.
  • Presenter. “Wole Soyinka: African Personality or Black Aesthetic?” National Council of Black Studies, Atlanta, GA. March 2012.

Hershell Proctor Walden
Dr. Hershell Proctor-Walden
Assistant Professor of English
  • School of Humanities & Social Sciences
Whitaker V. Middleton Fine Arts Center, Room 118