Campus News

"Hell of a Job" Brings Anti-Apartheid Home


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 5, 2010) - The second installment of "Have You Heard from Johannesburg," presented by the University of Kentucky's College of Arts and Sciences, continues the story of South Africa's crusade for freedom, as anti-apartheid activist Oliver Tambo escapes into exile and begins a 30-year journey to engage the world in the struggle to bring democracy to South Africa.

"Hell of a Job" widens the scope of South Africa's campaign, focusing on the future of the movement and its reliance on the world. The film will be shown at 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, in 213 Kastle Hall.


Marybeth Gasman, an associate professor of higher education at the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education, will speak after both showings of "Hell of a Job" about South Africa in the 21st century.

"I will be giving some historical and current context for the film," Gasman said. "I'll talk about the history of South Africa, highlight the racial divisions within the country and I'll talk about the country in the post-Apartheid era -- highlighting the positive change in the country, as well as the continuing racial divisions." 

Gasman, an historian of higher education, explores issues pertaining to philanthropy and historically black colleges, black leadership, contemporary fundraising issues at black colleges and African-American giving throughout her work.

"Gasman intrigued us with her blog post this summer about the ways that American students encounter race when they travel to South Africa. Americans are surprised by how openly race is discussed there," said Program Director Lauren Kientz. "We wanted her to visit us during the early part of the film series in order to introduce UK students, faculty and community members to the many differences between Kentucky, the United States and South Africa."

The editor of "Understanding Minority Serving Institutions and Historically Black Colleges" and "Universities: Triumphs, Troubles, and Taboos" will discuss the historical and cultural context of South Africa, relating stories of individuals and movements that have had an impact on the country.

Gasman has published many peer-reviewed articles in journals such as Teachers College Record, the Journal of Higher Education, the American Educational Research Journal, Educational Researcher, the History of Education Quarterly, the History of Higher Education Annual and the International Journal of Educational Advancement.

Her research has been cited in various media venues, including New York Times, The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, National Public Radio, Inside Higher Education, U.S. News and World Report and CNN.

"I asked Gasman to address us as if we were about to embark upon a visit to South Africa," said Kientz. "This year's focus will allow us to come as close to traveling as we can without stepping on a plane."

"Have You Heard from Johannesburg" sheds light on the global citizens’ movement that took on South Africa’s apartheid regime. The seven-part documentary series, produced and directed by Academy-Award nominated filmmaker Connie Field, chronicles the history of the global anti-apartheid movement that took on South Africa’s well-established apartheid regime and its supporters.

The series spans the world over half a century, beginning with the very first session of the United Nations and ending in 1990 – when, after 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela, the best known leader of the African National Congress, toured the world as a free man.

A&S will show each film in sequence on Thursdays at 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. in 213 Kastle Hall  from Sept. 30- Nov. 11. Parents, students, alumni, children and other community members are welcome to attend one showing or all of them. Each film can be viewed individually. Parking is available at Parking Structure #2 for the 7 p.m. showing.

Paralleling the film, Kientz is teaching a two-credit experiential learning course, A&S 100-049, from Sept. 23-Dec 7.

The College of Arts and Sciences is embarking on a year-long exploration of South African culture and history with its South Africa Initiative, themed "Different Lands, Common Ground." This program hopes to engage the Lexington community in crucial global conversations spark an ongoing exchange of ideas and promote awareness of race, human rights and political change.

For more information, contact Kientz at