Academics: Faculty

Donna Akiba Harper, Ph.D.

Spelman College Department of English
350 Spelman Lane
P.O.Box 745
Atlanta, GA 30314

Donna Akiba Harper, Ph.D., professor of the English department, has been named a Fuller E. Callaway Professor. An internationally recognized Langston Hughes scholar and author of numerous articles and book reviews, Dr. Harper is Spelman's third Callaway chair.

Background information on Fuller E. Callaway Professorship

Callaway Foundation, Inc., celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1968 with the culmination of a contribution of $10,000,000 to create a trust to encourage the enrichment of the academic program of the 33 senior colleges and graduate schools then located in Georgia, by providing funds for the establishment of 40 professorial chairs at these institutions in order to enable them to retain and add superior faculty members.

These chairs were named to honor Fuller E. Callaway, Sr., and are still known as the Fuller E. Callaway Professorial Chairs in special recognition of his unusual interest in education. He often said that the only man he feared was the ignorant man. "Educate a man and you can reason with him," he said. "I am never afraid of the man who can think."

Biographical Sketch of Donna Akiba Sullivan Harper, Ph.D.

An internationally recognized Langston Hughes scholar, Donna Akiba Sullivan Harper has taught English at Spelman College since 1987 and served as Dean of Undergraduate Studies at Spelman from January of 2003 to December of 2004. She is currently Professor of English and chairperson of the department, teaching composition and African American literature.

She is the author of the only book-length study of Hughes’s celebrated Jesse B. Semple stories, Not So Simple: The “Simple” Stories by Langston Hughes (1995). She has also edited four volumes of short fiction by Hughes.

Since 1998 she has been the campus coordinator for the UNCF-Mellon Program at Spelman College. She has mentored several students, of whom two have completed the Ph.D. and two more are in graduate study.

She has lectured in China and throughout the United States on Langston Hughes and is the author of numerous articles and book reviews.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Oberlin College, she earned her M.A. and Ph.D. from Emory University as a Danforth Graduate Fellow.

Her awards and recognition include the Faculty Award in African American Literature, 1999, in recognition of exemplary scholarship and dedication to excellence at Spelman College; The Langston Hughes Prize for Excellence in Literature and Vision (1998); the Spelman College 1995 Presidential Faculty Award for Scholarly Achievement; and the 1991 Distinguished Teacher Award, funded by the Sears-Roebuck Foundation Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award Program.


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