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22 August 2018
Prof Coetzee is retelling old stories in a new book
"Failing to Learn Doomed to repeat" was one of the bookworks on display.

The title of Prof Jan K Coetzee’s latest book, Books & Bones & Other Things, says it all. The book looks into the many aspects that have built our society by presenting in a new way the stories contained in old books collected over the years. 

Prof Coetzee is a Senior Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of the Free State (UFS). Books & Bones & Other Things was launched on 14 August 2018 and coincided with an exhibition of various “bookworks”   art installations by Prof Coetzee that feature old books, sculptures, artefacts, and fossils.
 
Book resulting from research programme 
   

“This is a book on books so the library is the perfect venue to launch a book on old texts as documents of life,” said Prof Coetzee.

For the past seven years he has been directing a Master’s and PhD programme in Sociology called The Narrative Study of Lives. His project, Documents of Life, from which this book came, focuses on a collection of old texts the oldest of which dates back to 1605.

“We live in storytelling societies and for as long as we can remember we have been telling stories. Over time the ability to produce books was born. Any collection of books can tell you a lot about your own life and the society you live in."

“I cannot read the stories of many of these old books because their narratives are closed. I have to re-narrate the books, change the narrative convention and present them in a way that makes sense to me. By combining the books with art and artefacts I want the books to tell their ancient stories in new ways.”

Book launches and intellectual discussions

At the book launch, Prof Corli Witthuhn, Vice-Rector: Research said: “What we have achieved with this launch and exhibition is unbelievable. We always try to create an intellectual space in the library.

“A book such as this is the pinnacle of an academic career. It is multidisciplinary and it looks at the world in a different way. That is what scholarship is about.”

A painting by Robert Hodgins was also handed over to the Johannes Stegmann Gallery, home of the corporate collection of the UFS, at the event. 

News Archive

Delegates encouraged to ‘walk the talk’ on fraud prevention
2017-11-27

Description: Fraud Tags: fraud, corruption, crime, business, Free State, MEC of Finance, Elzabe Rockman, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Standard Bank, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Monte Bello 

Representatives from the UFS Business School with Nick Olivier, Certified
Fraud Examiner (right), at the International Fraud Awareness Week’s
Free State Conference.
Photo: Lerato Sebe


‘Walking the Talk on Fraud Prevention’ was this year’s theme during the annual International Fraud Awareness Week’s Free State Conference held at Monte Bello, Bloemfontein, on 16 and 17 November.

The conference was hosted by the Business School of the University of the Free State (UFS), in collaboration with the Free State Provincial Treasury, Standard Bank, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Detecting and taking action against corruption
The Free State MEC of Finance, Honourable Elzabe Rockman, says corruption is not only a provincial or national issue, but rather a global issue. “Through this interaction with the International Fraud Awareness Week, we reach a much broader audience, both inside and outside government.” She says this should make a direct contribution to increasing awareness of what constitutes fraud, and improving our ability to detect it and to take action.

Implications caused by fraud
One of the speakers at the seminar, Nick Olivier, a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), did a presentation labelled, ‘WTF – Where to focus in the corruption noise’, highlighting the impact which fraudulent crime has on companies. “With the private sector, the impact is huge because the company will have to spend money on investigations or lawyers to get their money back.” He mentions that in government, various things are affected by fraud, such as the economy, the country’s resources, the lives of citizens and the society. 
“We need to start obeying the regulations which were implemented in our environments so that we do not need to do investigations, because every citizen has a duty to do the right thing,” says Olivier.

Tender procurement and bribery were listed as the top corruption crimes in both the private and government sectors.

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