Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2017 2018 2019 2020
Previous Archive
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

Sisulu Calls for Mugabe to go
2008-08-08

 

Human rights activist and renowned author, Ms Elinor Sisulu, has called on the president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, to step down.

Ms Sisulu made this call during her presentation of the Women’s Day lecture, titled: “Voiceless and voteless, fleeing zanuphobia into xenophobia: A Zimbabwean woman’s perspective of National Women’s Day” at the University of the Free State (UFS) on Wednesday.

She said thousands of Zimbabweans who fled their country because of violence will not return home unless Mugabe steps down.

“For the Zimbabweans in diaspora, what Mugabe symbolizes is so powerful that as long as he is there as a ceremonial president they will not return home. So the simple message from the South African office of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition is that Mugabe must go”, she said.

She also lambasted the southern African region generally, and South Africa in particular, for its silence over what she calls “Zanu-PF orchestrated violence” that triggered the current refugee influx in the region.

“The South African government was totally silent on the loss of life of innocent and vulnerable Zimbabweans. The mediator said nothing about it”, she said in a clear reference to president Thabo Mbeki, the SADC-appointed mediator.

She said for the Zimbabweans who had to flee to South Africa it was a case of “jumping from the frying pan into the fire”, fleeing Zanuphobia to xenophobia”.

She, however, appealed to the South Africans to raise their voices about the refugee problem that is not only besetting this country, but the whole region.

Ms Sisulu was born in Zimbabwe and she works in the South African office for the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, the major umbrella body of Zimbabwean non-gobernmental organizations.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt.stg@ufs.ac.za  
07 August 2008
 

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept