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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

Radboud University extends Institutional Agreement with UFS
2017-11-28

Description: 2017 International  Tags: internationalisation, Radboud University, Netherlands, institutional, Economic and Management Sciences, EU Erasmus+ programme, Business School  

Photo: Pixabay

The Office for International Affairs, in collaboration with the Business School, recently hosted delegates from Radboud University in the Netherlands to expand the existing partnership between the University of the Free State (UFS) and Radboud University.

Prof Joris Knoben and Charissa van Mourik visited the UFS to renew the Collaboration Agreement into an Institutional Agreement. The collaboration between the two universities was initially formalised as a Collaboration Agreement in August 2014. 

Zenzele Mdletshe, Senior Officer: North-South Cooperation: Internationalisation, says, “This partnership has been successful in implementing student exchange mobility, with about four students from Radboud University participating in student exchange programmes at the UFS for a period of six months.” The Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Prof Hendri Kroukamp, has also been part of an International Week Programme at the Radboud University for the past three years.

Exploring student exchange mobility through funding
The negotiations focused on extending the collaboration, as well as exploring opportunities to have exchange mobility from the UFS to Radboud University. “The agreement is to look into opening cooperation through funding models such as the EU Erasmus+ programme in order to overcome the financial challenges which hinder mobility of UFS students,” Mdletshe says.

Postgraduate programmes considered for future development
Radboud University is said to consider the waiving of all costs related to the participation of three UFS students in a two-week summer school programme at their campus. In addition to this discussion, the development of the postgraduate exchange programme, research collaborations, and future exploration of joint master’s degree programmes are also a possibility. 
“The participants agreed that the universities would explore external funding opportunities, specifically with a view to developing reciprocal PhD mobility,” Mdletshe says.

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