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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

Two honorary doctorates part of highlights at UFS graduations
2017-11-30


  Description: Dec gradspeakers Tags: Graduation Ceremonies, Prof Paul Holloway, Marius Botha, Joyene Isaacs, Likeleli Monyamane, Leah Molatseli, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman

  Leah Molatseli (left), Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, and Likeleli Monyamane will be
  the guest speakers during the End-of-year Graduation Ceremonies
  at the University of the Free State.
  Photos: Supplied, www.mudboots.co.za

Roads and entrance closed due to roadworks on the Bloemfontein Campus

Graduation Livestream

Two honorary doctorates and a Chancellor’s medal will be some of the highlights during the End-of-year Graduation Ceremonies at the University of the Free State (UFS).

The Callie Human Centre on the Bloemfontein Campus will once again welcome graduates, their parents, friends, and relatives for the celebrations on 6 and 7 December 2017. A total number of 1226 qualifications, including diplomas, certificates, and degrees, will be conferred during the two days.

Altogether 40 doctorates and 109 master’s degrees will be awarded. Most doctorates (19) will be awarded in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, while most of the master’s degrees (27) are in the same faculty.

Prof Holloway, Botha, and Isaacs honoured
Prof Paul Holloway (Natural and Agricultural Sciences) and Marius Botha (Law) will receive honorary doctorates during the afternoon ceremony on 7 December 2017, while Joyene Isaacs (Natural and Agricultural Sciences) will be honoured with a Chancellor’s Medal.

Prof Holloway is an internationally acclaimed expert in the science and technology of surfaces, thin films, and nanoparticles, and Botha has played a significant role in financial planning in South Africa. Isaacs is the Head of Department of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, and her department has been nominated by the South African Institute of Government Auditors as the best government department. 

Young leader, young alumnus, and humanitarian

Likeleli Monyamane, Leah Molatseli, and Dr Imtiaz Sooliman will be the guest speakers at the ceremonies.

Monyamane, a UFS Council member, will address graduates on 6 December 2017 during the morning ceremony. She is one of 15 young leaders selected to represent Lesotho as participants in the Mandela Washington Fellowship in the United States. In 2016, Molatseli, the speaker during the afternoon session on 6 December 2017, launched South Africa’s first legal ecommerce website, Lenoma Legal, and is the university’s most recent Young Alumnus of the Year.

Dr Sooliman, the speaker at both ceremonies on 7 December 2017, is the founder and Director of the Gift of the Givers Foundation. He has received more than 100 national and international awards, citations, commendations, and special recognition for his humanitarian work.

Date: 6 December 2017
Time: 09:00: All qualifications up to Honours degrees in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences (including the Business School) and the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
14:30: All qualifications up to Honours degrees in the Faculties of Education, Law, the Humanities, and Theology

Date: 7 December 2017

Time: 09:00: All qualifications up to Honours degrees in the Faculty of Health Sciences and Educational qualifications in Open Distance Learning – South Campus
14:30: Master’s and Doctoral degrees in all faculties

For information about the ceremonies, click here to visit the graduation home page.

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